Ryan will release two years of tax returns; says he gave Romney team 'several years'
August 12th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan will release two years of tax returns; says he gave Romney team 'several years'

(CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan said Sunday he gave Mitt Romney's vice presidential vetting team "several years" of personal income tax returns, and that he would release two years of those returns to the public – the same number as Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee.

Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have called on Romney to release more than his 2010 and 2011 information, saying the voting public is entitled to know more about a candidate's financial history. Romney has consistently responded by saying his level of disclosure is beyond the legal amount and that two years give a good reflection of his tax situation.

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"It was a very exhaustive vetting process," Ryan said on CBS' "60 Minutes." "It's a confidential vetting process, so there were several years. But I'm going to release the same amount of years that Gov. Romney has."

A spokesman for Ryan later confirmed that the presumptive vice presidential nominee would release two years of income tax returns "as soon as we're ready."

Romney has disclosed his income tax returns from 2010, and released an estimate of his 2011 tax information in April. He has vowed to release 2011's full return one it's completed by his accountant.

Democrats say the lack of disclosure puts Romney at odds with a precedent for presidential candidates set by his father, George, the former Michigan governor who released 12 years of his tax returns when running for president in 1968.

Some Republican observers, including the editorial pages of the National Review and the New Hampshire Union Leader, have urged Romney to release more of his returns to quiet the political debate.

Ryan said Sunday that voters weren't interested in his or Romney's taxes, and were looking for the two presidential campaigns to return to substantive issues of economic policies.

"What I hear from people around this country, they're not asking, 'Where are the tax returns?' They're asking where the jobs are. 'Where's the economic growth?' Those are the issues that matter," Ryan said.

The calls for more disclosure "are more or less distractions to try and take us off the fact that the president has given us failed policies that aren't working," Ryan said, saying the Republican campaign would instead "focus on what it takes to turn this country around and get people back to work."

CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Taxes
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Romney is not standing down the Russians or something. Why will he not just show us his tax returns?

    August 12, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  2. Anthony D

    Paul Ryan is going to do a terrific job distracting people from Romney's tax returns. It's a shame because I'd like to see an economic wonk like Ryan defend those returns. It would be very telling of the Right's POV.

    August 12, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Ryan says "voters aren't interested in hir or Romney's tax returns". You WISH voters weren't interested in your tax returns! All we know about your returns now is you're hiding information from the American people you feel would cost you the election. Do you believe Americans don't have a right to know the honesty of their leaders? You plan to trash Medicare and Social Security and you just say "I wouldn't be dishonest... trust me... don't look at the man behind the screen..."

    August 12, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. kdbroom

    I find it awfully hypocritical that Romney demands "several years" of tax returns from Ryan, but is only willing to give us one year (with a promise of a second sometime down the road). Nice "Do as I say, not as I do" leadership approach there Mitt. We always hated that while in the military.

    August 12, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. c

    @ Paul.... if it is indeed a 'distraction' as you claim... tell Miit to release his taxes for at least 12 years like his Father... and 'We The People' will sort out whether it is a distraction or not...

    August 12, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. JC

    Has the left demanded Four yet????

    August 12, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. bobusa

    Mr paul u getting it all wrong buddy it seems you need to understand that u want american citizens to hire u as our president of this great nation so if u want to be consider a position my friend with all due respect u better polish ur resume which off course includes ur uncle sam returns bcus d position u are applying for covers all those areas so i will not trust u to govern me and my income if i do not see ur full record bcus to me is like asking a mouse looking after peanut butter so american peoples are politically and economically aware so coming in to this race like you own us is totally wrong where were u whenMr Bush put us in to this economic sunami ? U did not propose ur socall Rhyan buget bcus its the same one under mr BUSH so explain urself fully to the american peoples that ur plan and mr BUSH plans are different and more over half ofMr Romneys economic advisers all cross capeted from George w bush cabinet so this are the same folkes that crafted this economic crises and u still want to put us inan abyss

    August 12, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. Joan

    Why did Romney want to see more than 2 years of income tax info, just to be VP?

    August 12, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. Mark

    Whenever I read a quote from the R/R campaign I fell like i'm being talked down to. Whether it's the "we've realeasd all you people need to know" statement from the Mrs. or the "as we soon as we are ready" statement from Ryans people in reference to Ryans taxes. Mitt also required more than two years worht of returns from Ryan, however Romney/Ryan decided that only releasing two years worth would lend credibility to MItts refusal to release more. Thier campaign thinks we're dumb and that they are fooling us. Ryan says that no one cares about thier tax issues which proves he too is out of touch with us 99%ers because thats all anyone's been talking about for months. They shouldnt expect that scrutiny to stop any time soon. Who knows, maybe they BOTH have something to hide. Romney can't represent us because he's never been us.

    August 12, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. Redmustang03

    Well if Ryan can give several years of tax returns to Romney and only TWO years to the public then it just shows how secretive the campaign is. At least Ryan is giving more than one year which two years is still weak sauce. I checked out he Obama site and he and Biden put out tax returns dating back to 2000. Still with Mitt, basically to release even ONE year of tax returns basically everyone from the media to his opponents had to twist his arm.

    August 12, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that is okay that Ryan does that. Romney needs to release more because Ryan and other members of Congress have disclosures that they need to make.

    August 12, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. eMan

    This will come back to haunt them !!!

    August 12, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. TKO

    Well, I'm interested in Romney's tax returns. Who is this "no-one" he speaks of ?

    August 12, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. Mike

    Yeah, sorry, but you're wrong. The request for taxes is because we want to see if Gov. Romney observes the spirit of the law or only the letter of the law. Is he a patriot doing all that he can for America, or is he hiding his money offshore, doing all that he can for himself? It's not a distraction – it's a valid point of assessment of the man who wants to lead our country. Funny how the same people who demanded a birth certificate won't demand Romney's taxes. What a bunch of self-serving hypocrits.

    August 12, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  15. Blayze Kohime

    So wait; Romney requires that his running mate give him their tax returns, but will not give up his OWN tax returns? Double standards much?

    August 12, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. Karen

    I can't believe how arrogant the Romney-Ryan duo are to think they can get away without showing more of their tax returns. This shows they are trying to hide the fact that they paid less in taxes than the middle class! My friends and I would never vote for someone without knowing if they are honest and trustworthy to lead this country! America will vote against you on election day!

    August 12, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. fullclarity

    No, Paul and MItt, we are interested in full disclosure of your taxes. Perception becomes reality, and, in your cases, the reality is that both of you are hiding something from the American people. Now is the time to be honest with us.

    August 12, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. IndTexas

    is it possible that the only reason Ryan is NOT hearing for tax returns of Romney during his travels is because he is only speaking to groups that support Romney? I'm just saying! Wouldn't logic suggest that those who are trying to decide if he is hiding something would be the only undecided voters they are trying to convince to vote for Romney/Ryan?

    August 12, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. alexpdx

    That's too funny. I've been wondering if Ryan would show solidarity with Romney and release only 2 years – and in turn make BOTH of them look bad, or if he would release more and make Romney look worse!

    Shame on the Romney camp but have at it! This issue will not go away, the thorn in their side will only grow.

    August 12, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. Leeroy

    It's nice to see Romney and Ryan aren't playing into the games of those insisting on seeing more then is required by law. It's clear that to show more would only play into the hands of those who are looking for fodder to distract people from the horrible job Obama has done for 3.5 years. Go Romney/Ryan! :)

    August 12, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  21. nmmell08

    Ryan's taxes I can't see having too many issues, he has been working in DC since he was 28. Where is Romney's though, I and a lot of people want the dispcrepency b/c his statements and the FCC cleared up

    August 12, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. Will

    Ryan said Sunday that voters weren't interested in his or Romney's taxes, and were looking for the two presidential campaigns to return to substantive issues of economic policies

    LISTEN VERY CLOSELY REPRESENTATIVE RYAN...AS A VOTER I AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS ARE ASKING WHERE ARE THE TAX RETURNS. how arrogent of you to say otherwise.

    August 12, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. tocheat

    for mortgage, i give three years tax returns and the person who runs the country will give two...

    August 12, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. wiz

    If Mr. Ryan is for smaller government why would he run for two offices at one time?
    Things have gotten bad since the 2008 election, so how can he justify running for two offices at one time and if they win the people of Wisconsin would have to hold a special election to replace him at a cost of millions of dollars.
    I hope that he and Mr. Romney will do well this election, but if he is the real conservative then put it all on the line?( health care and salary to fight the pre

    August 12, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Americans are not the morons the Republicans wish we were.

    Of course Romney insisted on seeing several years of Ryan's tax returns before he gave him his vote of confidence.

    What kind of moron wouldn't?

    I'm holding Romney and Ryan to the same standard Romney held Ryan.

    August 12, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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