(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.
Sending your money overseas in the company of drug dealers and moneylaunderers is none of anyone else's business other than Mittens, drug dealers and moneylaunderers.
He has accountants coming out his wazoo, but can't get his taxes filed on time. Something smells.
He is hiding something, Definitely a October surprise
Romney only releasing a single tax return is a squabble – yet Mrs. Romney (a.k.a. Queen Romney) being called out for not being a true work-at-home Mom is a major issue!
So the Queen of England is a stay-at-home Mom–how many average American's really believe that she truly represents an average-Mom?
Mrs. Romney tries to claim they had a hard difficult start as college students. Okay let's consider that. They survived for five years by 'chipping away at' assets [selling stock] (the amount an initial investment of thousands which had grown by 16 percent, so let's conservatively say some $60,000 in 1969 dollars (which would be about $377,000 today). Poor...Struggling.... Queen Ann and Mitt. Open your eyes American's this is an Oligarchy in the making. That is why his tax returns are not released in greater numbers
A "squabble"? C'mon...we don't know much about his time as governor because he and his staff destroyed all the electronic data, he won't allow any info out on Bain, and now he's hiding his tax returns. I find it quite questionable that he's stashing money in the caymans and in his swiss bank accounts. All this speaks rather negatively to Mr. Romneys character and integrity. What is he hiding? He's not being asked to do anything other than all the other presidents have done routinely.
If Romney is going to release his returns, like he says, why doesn't he just do it and get it over with? In my mind he is trying to hide something and needs more time to cover it up. If nothing to hide what's the problem?
Also I raised 3 children and worked for 40 years and I don't care what Mrs. Romney or any woman says it's much, much harder to work away from home than it is to stay at home, especially if your wealthy and probably had maids, cooks etc. I'm not saying that given a choice I wouldn't have done the same, but I'm sorry there is no compairson.
The GOP is a distraction as they are collectively clueless and now have Mitt Romney as their candidate. OMG. Mitt just give us your tax returns as well as your long form birth certificate so that we can verify you were born in the US.
Republicans are claiming distraction to distract from the fact that Romney are dragging his feet in disclosing his tax returns. Like Romney said, politicians always accuse others of doing something that they do themselves.
I think this is relavant to the bigger issue of Tax reform. MR benefits from loop holes in the tax code he wants to keep in place where he can pay less rates then the average person. If his tax returns proove that; then the american pple can decide if they want another beneficialy of the tax code in the WH.
Wasn't it the Republicians who were pressuring romney to release his tax records just a few short months ago?
We all know he is richer than God. Lets stop playing class envy politics and get on with the business of our country.
The one and only one question is "Has Obama's and the Democrats policies over the last 3 years hurt or helped this country ?"
Hey, don't look over there (economy) Look over here! (See how cool we are? Not like those mean rich people).
Isn't it great how the GOBP gets to decide what is relevant and important and what isn't? And they think the voters haven't caught onto the GOBP's propaganda scams.
Everything he does is a distraction because you have to go look for when he was for anything he is now against. He was for gun control five years ago. Now he is pimping himself out to the nra who are too stupid to realize that all he wants is their money and vote.
So Obama told us his tax rate was 20%, whoops did anyone notice; not the media (do the math, taxes paid divided by income declared. I guess the Dems figure with the American math skills, they don't see that as an issue.
Women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and "have the dignity of work," Mitt Romney said in January,
All of this noise about Romneys tax report from the left talking heads, how about showing oboma's college transcripts or maybe explain why he needs 11 social security numbers.
I know they have the answers because they have all of the dem talking points down pat.
This is a big deal. Mitt has to release his tax returns since a major part of his financial platform is his tax policies. The people have a right to know what is tax returns look like.
@ king you hit the nail on the head couldnt have said it better myself. right on dude.
@TJef1776..pls check remarks made Romney in New Hampshire back in January when he said, stay home mum needs to know dignity of work. So does he think Ann Romney doesn't know dignity of work?
Odd that the repblicans call the request for Romneys tax returns a "distraction" after the huge fuss they made over a comment that Mrs Romney never held a job. outside the home. .The truth by the way. In comparison, a request for his tax returns is reasonable considering that is the usual thing for candidates to do. Frankly The news that the Romneys only paid 14.5 % in taxes last year compared to what the average working guy has to pay is a stunner. And I don't know about the rest of you, but Romney's cash stashed in the Caymens and Swiiss bank accoounts is a insult to those of us who honestly pay their taxes. . How much money is there, huh? We all know that the only reason that people have these accounts if to hide their money from being taxed ..How American is this? If he was really a good American, he would pay his fair share instead of hiding his money...everything out in the open.. Seems that Mr Romney is ashamed of something.. Tax evasion Maybe? .
Actually, all the cable news need to make reference to this to expose Romney degree of flip flop and double standard. It's okay for Ann Romney to stay home with kids because they're rich and someone with two year old kid takes her kid to baby sitter and go to work. In January, Romney didn't think staying at home to work is a job. OBAMA 2012!!!
It is a distraction.
It's keeps the issue on his taxes , not on the reason none of his five sons volunteered for military service during Americas longest wars.
only a distraction if you have something to hide.
The current president was hounded about his birth certificate, but the Republican nominee can't be bothered with last year's tax return. Gotcha.