Casually loathed industrialist Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, a stay-at-home mother of five middle-aged men, recently allowed the soothing but cunning Diane Sawyer unfettered access to the Romney home, raw and uncut, so that Mitt could remind the American public, again, of why they’re still not that into Mitt Romney. Okay, presumably that wasn’t really Mitt’s intention but that’s how this most recent charm offensive went down. For example, Mitt thought to win our favor by making believe that dinner table banter at the Romney household used to involve “humor of one kind or another, most of which can’t be repeated on the air.” And, indeed, how easy it is to picture Mitt and Ann, their cheeks bulging with Skoal, cracking open a couple more Miller Lites and chortling bodily as the young Tagg and Dack take turns imitating their favorite Lenny Bruce bits. That probably actually happened, in an undiscovered painting by Dalí that the artist thought a touch too surreal and tucked away at his summer place on Neptune. But the most sordid revelation (with some actual believability) was Mitt’s admission–revolutionary, for a Republican presidential candidate in 2012–that legislation passed by the Congress may actually reflect the will of the “American public,” so long as that legislation lets Romney keep his tax returns, dodgily, leagues from any hint of public scrutiny.
Here is our beloved Diane, demanding ANSWERS, from ABC News’ transcript of the interview because, good grief, why would you watch this thing, intentionally?
DIANE SAWYER: Moving on. President Obama threw down a kind of gauntlet to you over the weekend. And he said, “Release 12 years of your tax returns. I’m releasing them. Release 12 years. If you have nothing to hide why not release 12 years as your father did?”
DIANE SAWYER: And John McCain said they gave him 23 years of tax returns when he was considering you for the vice presidency. If John McCain can get 23 should– for transparency’s sake the rest of the American public get 23 years?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, actually the American public has through legislation determined that we need a extraordinary dis– set of disclosure of financial records of people running for president and I have complied with all that and then in addition put out two more years of tax returns. And exactly as John McCain and– and– John Kerry had, and– I know the Obama people want to get us to do something that will cause a lot of attention to be drawn to the fact that I’ve been successful. John McCain wasn’t worried about diverting from the issues of– of the– of the day, but I understand that the Democrats are going to try and do everything in their power to keep this election from being about the failure of President Obama to turn around our economy.