That’s a record for transparency when it comes to tax returns. The previous record was held by Bob Dole, the GOP presidential nominee 20 years ago. He provided 30 years of returns in 1995.
But it’s a dramatic departure from the Republican Party’s last presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who initially indicated that he wasn’t going to release any returns. He ultimately produced his 2011 tax returns, plus a summary of tax rates from tax returns for the years 1990-2009.
John McCain did in 2008. Barack Obama provided seven years of tax returns when he ran for president in 2008.
Undoubtedly the move by Bush will prompt the media to press Hillary Clinton to provide as much documentation of her financial records. The Democratic presidential hopeful has been under fire for using a private server to contain her emails when serving as secretary of state.
Bush provided reporters with access to his emails earlier this year, but was criticized by some for taking more than seven and a half years to release all of his emails since leaving Tallahassee. Florida’s statute required officials to release documents relating to their time in office at the end of their term.
Politico quotes an unnamed Bush aide as calling the tax return release “unprecedented,” adding, “This is more than any presidential candidate in the history of the United States. This display of transparency is consistent with the high level of disclosure he has practiced during his life in public office.”