Though attacked for asking a personal, sexual question of Newt Gingrich at the beginning of the South Carolina debate, CNN anchor John King came back later in the debate with an even tougher question for Newt's rival Mitt Romney. He laid it out beautifully, and listened as Romney flailed to answer.
As Romney failed to live up to his father's example, the crowd actually turned against him.
Romney had to know the question was coming, but could not have expected that King would so artfully juxtapose Mitt's furtive secrecy against his father George Romney's open disclosure. As Andrew Sullivan said -- brilliant.
Willard got terrible reviews for his evasive answer from across the political spectrum, and now the Washington Post picks up the gauntlet and in an editorial repeats the reporter's question.
THURSDAY NIGHT’S Republican presidential debate produced more equivocation from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney about when he would release his tax returns and how many he would release. He was asked by moderator John King if he would follow the standard set by his own father, George, the former Michigan governor who was the first presidential candidate to release his tax returns. He put out 12 years’ worth in November 1967, as he prepared to run for the White House in 1968 — a point also being made in a Democratic National Committee video. All Mr. Romney could muster was an awkward “Maybe.” Wait until April, he said.
More disclosure, sooner, would be better, as is already obvious even to such supporters of Mr. Romney as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Give King credit for asking a great question (and doing Newt and us all a great favor). And wonder what is in those tax returns that the Mitt-bot is so reluctant to reveal.