1. George Will. On ABC’s “This Week,” Will, a long-time conservative commentator and Washington Post columnist, said, “The costs of not releasing the returns are clear, therefore he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.” At one point, he even played devil’s advocate to Republican consultant Mary Matalin, who was defending Romney.
2. Bill Kristol. “Here’s what he should do,” said Kristol, another conservative commentator, on Fox News. “He should release the tax returns tomorrow. This is crazy… you’ve got to release 6, 8, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two. Then give a serious speech on Thursday.”
3. Ron Paul. Unitl just days ago, Paul was the other Republican presidential candidate. He is also one of those calling for Romney to release the returns. Paul told Politicotoday, “Politically, I think that would help him. …In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”
4. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The Alabama Governor actually went further than others in suggesting that perhaps Romney is hiding something by not releasing his tax returns. “If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” he told the AP. “I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.“
5. Michael Steele. The former chair of the Republican National Committee is pushing for release. He claims it will help voters trust Romney, especially since he claims there is nothing to see in the returns: “If there’s nothing there, there’s no ‘there’ there, don’t create a ‘there.’ Put out as much information as you can. Even if you don’t release 12 years worth of tax returns, at least three, four, five.”
6. Rep. Walter Jones. In an interview with CNN, the Republican Congressman from North Carolina said, “I think he should release his financial records and I think if he does it in July it would be a lot better than in October. …whenever you are asking for the vote of the American people you need to fully disclose what your holdings are, if you have any.”
7. Ana Navarro. “He should just release the stupid taxes and eliminate the Obama campaign tactic of insinuating he’s got something to hide,” the former adviser to John McCain said. “The Obama people are going to keep the issue alive and it has the potential of mushrooming into a bigger issue. …It’s time to just pull off the band-aid.”
8. Rep. Pete Sessions. Sessions (R-TX) leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, and even he called Romney’s tax returns “fair game” and a “legitimate question.” In an interview with CNN, Sessions said that “[Romney’s] personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game.”
9. Gov. Haley Barbour. The Mississippi Governor has been outspoken about the need for Romney to hand over the documents. “The advice I would give Romney is: Who cares about your tax returns? Release ’em!” Barbour said in a phone interview. “We need for this campaign to be about Obama’s record.” Earlier this week, Barbour also called for Romney to release the returns on CNN.
10. Matthew Dowd. This conservative commentator called it “arrogance” that Romney was not releasing his returns. Joining forced with Bill Kristol, Dowd spoke candidly about his doubts around Romney’s tax returns: “There is obviously something because if there was nothing there he would say have it…But I think the bigger thing is, it’s arrogance. Many of these politicians think I can do this, I can get away with this.”
11. Rick Tyler. Republican strategist and former adviser to Newt Gingrich’s campaign had this to say about Romney’s returns: “Mitt Romney had an opportunity to answer these questions during the primary. …He did not answer these questions and now they’re coming up again. …Only [Romney] can provide that information. …Or we’ll just have drip, drip, drip to November.”
12. John Weaver. This Republican strategist had astraightforward message that got picked up as a quote-of-the day. In regard to Romney releasing his returns, he said, “There is no whining in politics. …Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”
13. Brit Hume. The conservative Fox News commentatortold fellow Fox man Bill O’Reilly, “Any time it’s disclosure versus non-disclosure, you always wonder whether it isn’t better to put it out there. And if it turns out that if people get to hear once again that Mitt Romney is a very very rich man. …I guess the Obama team would have some sport with that for a couple days.”
14. David Frum. The conservative journalist David Frum Tweeted his opinion on the tax release controversy. “Tax returns the next problem. Releasing returns under pressure: more weakness, more pain,” he wrote in one tweet. “Do promptly and cheerfully what you will eventually have to do anyway,” he added.
15. John Feehery. This Republican strategist most recently joined the fray of Republicans asking Romney to release the returns. “Might as well get it over with,” he said on MSNBC, “Couple of years, get it over with.”