Among other journalistic crimes in his softball interview on This Week, John McCain was allowed by George Stephanopoulos to waffle unchallenged on the question of tax cuts. McCain now fully embraces the cuts that he once said "offended his conscience."
But the question of how much McCain has personally benefited from those tax cuts gets more pointed as Cindy McCain refused this week to release her tax returns. CNN in the video above had no problem creating a graph of the personal wealth of candidates that left out Cindy McCain’s assets, but included those of Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Just a wee bit misleading.
Back in 2004, this was Matthew Connetti in The Weekly Standard railing for transparency and the release of Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s tax returns:
One Republican lawyer says Heinz’s returns would be a "treasure trove of opposition research." One thing the returns would show, this lawyer says, is the extent to which Kerry is a "kept man."
Making Heinz’s tax returns public would confirm that she’s Kerry’s sugar daddy (sugar mommy?). It would also strike a blow against Kerry’s populist rhetoric by detailing the lavish lifestyle he and his wife enjoy: the vacation home in Nantucket, the ski chalet in Ketchum, Idaho, the estate outside Pittsburgh, the Georgetown manse. Not to mention the red-and-white Gulfstream jet. And the tax returns could embarrass the Kerry campaign further if it’s revealed that Heinz has contributed to independent organizations working to unseat President Bush.
The McCain campaign cites the decision of Theresa Heinz-Kerry as a precedent for not releasing Cindy McCain’s returns. But As Media Matters notes, there’s a big difference:
These media reports, therefore, have advanced the McCain campaign’s comparison between Cindy McCain’s limited release of financial information and Heinz Kerry’s, and in doing so, ignored a key distinction in the information they released: Unlike Heinz Kerry, Cindy McCain did not release sufficient information for the public to determine the extent to which she benefited from the tax cuts her husband supports extending.
Stephanopoulos never asked if John McCain’s flip-flop on tax cuts has benefited Sugar Momma Cindy, or how we would know.
Enquiring minds want to know, even if the Beltway bores don’t.