Although he had a portfolio of potentially controversial business interests, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) apparently does not want to have the same political brand as 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Sources close to Bush revealed to Politico on Wednesday that the former governor is preparing to release 10 or more years of tax returns. The move starkly contrasts with Romney, who faced constant criticism on the campaign trail for only releasing two years worth.
The move also sets up potential contrast with Bush’s competitors, notably Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, whose personal wealth has come under scrutiny.
“People forget that he spent eight years as governor in a state with the most pro-transparency laws in the country,” a person close to Bush told Politico. “He is used to living in the sunshine. Most of the other likely candidates aren’t.”
The tax return announcement is the latest sign that Bush is likely to ultimately launch a presidential bid. Bush officially unveiled a new leadership PAC on Tuesday that will allow him to fund-raise for a national campaign. In another nod towards transparency, Bush released thousands of emails in December from his tenure as governor.
At the end of last year, Bush also worked to eliminate potential conflicts of interests by resigning from various boards, including a healthcare giant that supported President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Other potentially controversial investments reportedly include an offshore private equity fund that his rivals could depict as a tax shelter.
But Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told Politico that there is no chance his business record will drag down a Bush presidential campaign.
“There is absolutely nothing about Governor Bush’s business interests that would hinder a run for president in any way,” she said.
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