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Cindy McCain says tax returns off-limits

WASHINGTON - Cindy McCain says she will not make her tax returns public even if her husband wins the White House.

WASHINGTON - Cindy McCain says she will not make her tax returns public even if her husband wins the White House.

"You know, my husband and I have been married 28 years and we have filed separate tax returns for 28 years. This is a privacy issue. My husband is the candidate," Cindy McCain, wife of Republican John McCain, said in an interview aired yesterday on NBC's



Asked if she would release her returns if she were to become first lady, she said: "No."

The Arizona senator released his tax return last month, reporting income of $405,409 in 2007 and $84,460 in federal income taxes paid. McCain files his return separately from his wife, an heir to a Phoenix beer-distributing company whose fortune is in the $100 million range.

The McCains have kept their finances separate throughout their marriage. A prenuptial agreement left much of the family's assets in Cindy McCain's name.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Cindy McCain's refusal to release her returns gives the appearance of a double standard on the part of her husband. "What is John McCain trying to hide?" Dean said in a statement.

In response, Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said: "Howard Dean continues to lower the bar in this election."

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton filed joint returns with their spouses and released those returns.

In 2004, Teresa Heinz Kerry, heir to the fortune of her first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, and the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, released her tax information for 2003 under public pressure. She initially had demurred, citing privacy concerns. Like the McCains, the Kerrys reported filing separate tax returns.

- AP

Gore says he's no cabinet candidate

ROME - Sorry, next president. Al Gore is not available to be your interior secretary, or secretary of state, or whatever.

"I won't accept a cabinet post regardless of which of the three candidates wins the presidency," Gore said yesterday.

"I am looking for a way to bring about change in other ways," the former vice president and former Democratic presidential candidate said. Gore is in Rome to present the Italian version of his Current Media Inc.'s Current TV channel.

He is one of the superdelegates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are courting to try to secure the Democratic nomination.

- Bloomberg News