John McCain’s trusted campaign hand Steve Schmidt was on Meet the Press Sunday, so it’s no surprise that the conversation turned to the question of what’s in Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Schmidt said they reveal Romney’s an “extremely wealthy man” but that the returns themselves “do not look anything like the average American.”
“There was nothing that was disqualifying,” Schmidt said. “That pick in 2008 was not about any deficiency with Mitt Romney. It was a political decision that we made in a very bad political circumstance.”
Schmidt earlier claimed he hadn’t seen the tax returns specifically. But he understands the political relevance of their contents. And though he contends that they weren’t the reason McCain picked a rather different running mate, he still thinks Romney’s better off releasing just two years as the party’s de facto nominee in 2012.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.