Report: Jeb Bush May Release Tax Returns To Avoid His Romney Problem

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January 7, 2015 5:24 p.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is reportedly looking to avoid the Mitt Romney tax return treatment by strongly considering at least a decade (and maybe more) of tax returns.

Bush, who made a number of steps that point to him running for president in 2016 (most recently creating a political action committee called “Right To Rise”) is ready to release a large amount of of records returning his tax returns, according to Politico.

The move is likely to prevent him from being likened to Romney who was dogged throughout much of the 2012 presidential campaign for refusing to release any of his tax returns before relenting somewhat and releasing only two years worth of records (Democrats, unsurprisingly, were not satisfied).

The move, according to Politico citing associates of Bush, would be to prevent similar treatment to Romney who dragged his feet about releasing tax returns that detailed his immense wealth in 2012. They say he also hopes to create contrast with Hillary Clinton, who is the perceived frontrunner on the Democratic side in 2016 and whose husband has amassed wealth through the Clinton Foundation. Republicans plan to press the Clintons on financial disclosure of the nonprofit.

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Bush has already made strides on the transparency front by announcing the release of 250,000 emails from his time as governor of Florida (the emails got media attention before they were released through the Democratic opposition group American Bridge).

One of the first moves Bush has made as he’s inched toward running for president in 2016 has been to resign and disconnect himself from a number of financial dealings and boards including as BH Global Aviation, which was described in an extensive Bloomberg piece on Bush’s fraught financial dealings as a “new offshore private equity fund.” The move was also seen as an effort to avoid the Romney treatment of being labeled an out of touch super wealthy politician.

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