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Press Release - "What is Steve Forbes Hiding?"

January 29, 1996

The Dole campaign today stepped up the pressure on multi- millionaire publisher Steve Forbes to follow the same rules as other GOP candidates and release his income tax returns. Forbes has refused requests from the media, the public, and other candidates to look inside the rarified financial world in which he lives, saying it would only be "a distraction."

"Steve Forbes arrogantly refuses to release his tax returns," Dole Campaign Manager Scott Reed said. "He refuses to play by the same rules as the other candidates. He has lived a life filled with special privileges and now he thinks he's entitled to special treatment from the American people. Forbes' arrogance raises a crucial question: What is Steve Forbes hiding?"

"How can being honest with the American people be a distraction?" Reed asked. "Forbes has seen other campaigns damaged because of irregularities in the candidates' financial history. Maybe that's what Forbes is worried about."

"Did he pay any income tax at all? Or did he put it all In tax shelters? Has he paid social security taxes on all the workers on his estate. There are a lot of things no one knows about Steve Forbes," Reed added.

GOP frontrunner Bob Dole recently released 30 years of tax returns. In the past 20 years, there has never been a presidential nominee from either party who has not released at least part of their tax returns. Fortune magazine has already raised serious questions about Forbes' financial dealings. He lives on an estate that's worth $ 9 million, but he only pays $ 2,200 every year in taxes on it, according to Fortune. (Fortune, 2/5/96, pg. 74)

"Right now, Steve Forbes is the only person who knows what's in those returns," Reed said. "And the reason he's refusing to release them is because he knows it will sink the multi-million dollar negative campaign he is financing out of his inheritance."

"Steve Forbes may be able to stonewall for now. But eventually he must come clean with the American people and release his tax returns. If its such a distraction, why not just get it out of the way?"

Robert Dole, Press Release - "What is Steve Forbes Hiding?" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315598

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