Romney released records showing he paid 13.9 percent on income from 2010
Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyImages.
UPDATE: As the Obama campaign continues to pressure Romney to release more of his tax returns, the president is making it clear Saturday that taxes will continue at the forefront of his offensive against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Obama is set to say that Republicans want the middle class to pay for tax cuts that will benefit millionaires, reports USA Today.
"And his new running mate, Congressman Ryan, put forward a plan that would let Governor Romney pay less than 1 percent in taxes each year," Obama will say in Windham, N.H., according to the campaign.
While it’s “completely accurate” to say Ryan proposed eliminating capital gains taxes in 2010, the measure was not included in his latest budget proposal, and Romney has clearly said he opposes the move, points out ABC News.
The president’s latest tax attack comes a day after the Romney campaign released two years of Ryan’s tax returns, showing he and his wife paid 15.9 percent of their adjusted gross income in federal income taxes and 20 percent in 2011, reports the New York Times. For his part, Romney had an effective federal tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010, while the campaign estimates he will pay 15.4 percent in 2011, notes the Associated Press.
Friday, Aug. 17: The Obama campaign has an offer for Team Romney: Release five years' worth of tax returns and they'll stop asking to see more.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina released an open letter to the candidate on Friday outlining the deal: "If the governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more—neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign." The promise is a response to the Romney campaign's assertion that releasing any more returns would encourage Democrats to ask for even more returns, the New York Times explains.
The Romney campaign responded with an open letter of their own to Messina, indicating that they're not going to bite: "It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns, instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending," reads the letter quoted by Politico.
Thursday, Aug. 16: Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday that he has paid at least 13 percent in income taxes annually over the past decade, comments that represent the most information the presumptive GOP nominee has offered on the subject to date.
"I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent," Romney told reporters while stumping in South Carolina. "I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year."
Democrats have pummeled the former Massachusetts governor with calls to make his past tax returns public, including a recent—undocumented—claim by Sen. Harry Reid that Romney avoided paying taxes entirely for a decade while working at Bain Capital. Thursday’s comment, made at a South Carolina campaign stop, marked the first time Romney addressed the matter directly, the New York Times notes.
"I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces—23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty—the fascination with taxes I’ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face," Romney said.
Romney released records from last year, showing that he paid 13.9 percent tax on his 2010 income, but has steadfastly refused calls to release his tax returns from previous years. Ann Romney told NBC’s Rock Center earlier this week that releasing more returns would only give Democrats more "ammunition."
Asked about Romney’s comments, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered little reaction Thursday, other than: "This president believes the tradition for presidential candidates putting forward multiple years of tax returns is a useful and valuable one." (via the Washington Post.)