(CNN) - Democrats pressuring likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney to release 10 years of his personal tax returns are creating a political diversion, two leading Republicans said Sunday.
The claim came two days after the White House released Obama's own tax returns, an annual disclosure Democrats turned into a political event by pairing the release with a call for Romney to disclose the same information. Late Friday, Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor had filed for a tax filing extension from the Internal Revenue Service.
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"First of all, Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."
Priebus continued, saying Romney's tax information was far from the minds of voters.
"We have bigger issues to talk about," Priebus said. "This election won't come down to the timing of a tax return. This election will come down to the state of this economy and how Barack Obama failed this country."
Arizona Sen. John McCain, who endorsed Romney in January, said releasing a decade's worth of personal tax information wasn't necessary for a presidential candidate. Democrats often point out Romney disclosed several years of returns to McCain's own presidential campaign in 2008 during the vice presidential vetting process.
"He gave that to me and it was confidential, and so did a lot of other people," McCain said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."
"We agreed with everybody we considered that would remain confidential. John Kerry only introduced two years, Mitt Romney did, I did, two years is sufficient. And frankly, I'm not sure that's the key issue Americans are worried about," McCain said.
Priebus also pointed to presidential campaigns of the past, saying Romney would eventually follow the same precedent.
"The type of the rigorous financial disclosure requirements when running for president are so expansive and vast that if you were to look at what John Kerry, John McCain, all of these other presidential candidates have revealed, Mitt Romney is going to do the same thing," Priebus said.
In 2008, McCain released his tax information by mid-April, by which time he had virtually wrapped up the GOP nomination. Obama released his 2000-2006 tax returns in late March; his main rival, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, released hers in mid-April.