Romney hush-hush when law allows it
BOSTON – Keeping his secrets, Mitt Romney tends to lift the veil on his finances and campaign only if the law says he must.
The Republican presidential candidate refuses to identify his biggest donors who “bundle” money for his campaign. He often declines to say who’s meeting with him or what he’s doing for hours at a time. He puts limits on media access to his fundraisers. And he resists releasing all of his tax returns, making a single year public after facing pressure to do so.
“We’ve released all the information required by law and then some,” Romney said last month about his tax returns.
He’s indicated that part of the reason for his secrecy is to avoid political problems in his race against President Barack Obama.
He said of his election foe: “He’s going to try and make this campaign about the fact that I’ve been successful, that I’ve made a lot of money. So he wants to be able to get all the details on each year and how much money I made this year and that year. I’m not going to get into that.”
Not that Obama has been totally open, either.
For example, the Democrat also limits media access to some parts of his fundraisers, although he allows cameras into larger events and will bring a small contingent of reporters into private residences. Reporters are promptly ushered out ahead of question-and-answer sessions with donors. Some fundraisers are closed entirely because the campaign says Obama is not making any formal remarks.
But Romney, whose views have been shaped by his years in politics and his nearly three decades in private business, has made a keep-it-under-wraps approach a hallmark of his campaign. He’s often broken precedent set by presidential candidates of both parties.
“He is reluctant to disclose information that is standard for disclosure and has become the norm,” said Angela Canterbury, policy director for the Project on Government Oversight. And she and others say there’s no reason to think that style would change if Romney becomes president.