House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi turned tense and testy yesterday when pressed as to why she refused repeated requests to release her tax returns, even as she is among the loudest voices calling for Mitt Romney do the same, McClatchy News Servic
"When I run for president of the United States, you can hold me to that standard," the California congresswoman snapped. When asked whether she and members of Congress should abide by the rules she and other Democrats have set for Romney to release his returns.
“There are no rules. There are no rules,” she huffed. “There’s no rule about releasing his tax return, so what rules are you referring to?” When asked about the standard she had cited for a presidential candidate, Pelosi said, according to McClatchy, “It’s up to the American people. The American people are the judges of that.”
On Wednesday, McClatchy reported that Democrats shouting the loudest about Romney’s reluctance to release his tax returns do not apply the same standards to themselves and cited Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada among hundreds of elected officials from both parties who refused to release their tax records, McClatchy reported.
Pelosi has said Romney was unfit to serve as President or even in the Cabinet because of his refusal so far to release all of his returns and Reid has said Romney wasn’t even fit to be dogcatcher.
But just 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their most recent tax forms or provided some similar documentation of their tax liabilities in response to requests from McClatchy over the last three months, the news service reported, indicating a double standard. Another 19 members flat out refused and the rest didn’t even bother to respond to McClatchy’s request.
Pelosi even ridiculed any push for full release of returns by Congress, saying journalists should have to do the same.
“Maybe they [returns] should all be made public, maybe it should be a public function. What do you think of that for everybody?” Pelosi asked, according to McClatchy. “For everybody who writes about it, for everybody who hires people who write about it, the corporate ownership of the media and what are they doing as far as their taxes are concerned.
"Let’s not be silly," she said. "It’s up to (Romney) to take the consequences of not doing it, or doing it, but not to deflect (the issue) to say, ‘Well, if he has to do it, why doesn’t everybody else have to do it?’”
Pelosi then said, according to McClatchy: “Because everybody else is not running for president,’’ she said, “and that’s the last thing I’m going to say about it.”
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