Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, responding to criticism from Democrats over his refusal to release tax returns from before 2010, said today that he will publicize his 2011 return when it’s completed.
“The Democrats are always going to be critics,” he said in an interview airing today on Fox Business Network. “Tax information is there, other financial disclosure is there.”
He also said he was releasing “the same level of information” on his finances as did Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic nominee.
Romney filed for an extension on his 2011 federal income taxes before the usual April deadline and has until Oct. 15 to complete the return. Extensions are typical for taxpayers such as Romney with complicated finances.
In January, he released his 2010 return and an estimated return for 2011. For 2010, Romney paid a 13.9 percent effective tax rate on more than $21 million in income, largely because he receives most of his income from capital gains and dividends taxed at preferential rates capped at 15 percent.
Democrats have been calling on Romney to release prior years’ returns, citing the decision by his father, George Romney, to release 12 years of returns during his failed bid for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination.
“Mitt Romney talks about this great family that he comes from, and I acknowledge it is,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said yesterday. “But why doesn’t he follow the example set by his father and release his tax returns?”
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who helped found the Boston-based private-equity firm Bain Capital, is worth as much as $250 million, according to financial documents his campaign has released. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has targeted Romney’s business background in ads, linking him to the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
Romney said in today’s interview that voters are tired of “petty” attacks by politicians.
“The president wants to make this a campaign about attacking wealth,” he said. “I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.”
Romney declined to discuss his search for a vice presidential nominee.
“If I did,” he said, “I would have to come after you with my Men In Black flashlight and erase your memory,” referring to the movie series in which the heroes combat disguised aliens and zap the memories of civilian witnesses.
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