(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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What is it with the GOP candidates? Are they *that* afraid to show how unlike the average citizen they truly are?
Romney really must have done something he doesn't want anyone to know about.
I have a feeling Pres Obama and the Dems will allow rMoney to get a lil' bump in his otherwise plummeting poll numbers and then those pesky "missing" tax returns will start turning up.
The games people play – with our lives.
Of course this had to happen OR Ryan would have made Romney look more secretive... Now AMERICA says ONCE more....Show us the TAXES! Five or more years worth of Taxes!
Really? We're not interested in your tax returns? So wrong Mr. Romney..so very very wrong. A great many people are interested in them and even more interested in the reasons you don't want to disclose them. What are you hiding form the people you want to lead? We really do want to know.
We don't want your returns Ryan, we want to see Romney's.
Why is this not a big surprise? For the past 4 years, the Republicans have been trying to play by their own rules. Just another example of why they should not be trusted.
I bet Ryan has paid higher percentage in taxes then "Romney the Cayman King". Ryan is probably a shoe shine boy for Romney. But Romney needs to show his last 12 years of tax returns for the country to see if this multimillionaire has paid any taxes before becoming the President of these United States. He wants to cut more taxes for the millionaires as the new president. But wants to cut the benefits for the seniors. That's just plain shameful and outrageous.
Why only 2 years? it should be 10 years for him and 12 years for Romney :-)
What is Romney hiding? It must be a real disaster for him or he would have released them long ago.
Romney is still hiding something in the 10 years of tax information he refuses to let the American voters see.
Ryan was such a poor choice, and pretending that no one cares about secretive candidates is absurd.
Actually, I can walk and chew bubblegum and I want to know where the jobs and the tax returns both are.
There must really be something really terrible in Romney's tax returns. Something that may disqualify him from being president.
I'm sorry. I do not care who you are. It does not take an accountant this long to do a tax return (unless he is using an abacus). Romney providing an "estimate" for 2011 when we are in August, is almost as laughable as only submitting 2 years (when he gets around to it), and expecting America to trust him. The law says he has to disclose, at least, two complete tax returns (not One and a partial estimate). So – "Put or Shut Up" Mittey.
I am voter , and I am very interested in seeing the tax return. I want to know, if he changed his habits only after 2009,
People want to see Romneys tax returns,whats he hiding?
it's amazing how these repubs holler about transparency and Backdoor deals all three years of Obama presidency, now all of a sudden, secrecy is not a problem to them, when their candidates does it. where did their morals and values went so fast. does nothing matters anymore where a person character is concerned.
No Surprise here! How could he release more than 2 years...duh!
It seems to me that the most important skill you need to have to be a successful politician in the USA is the ability to lie with reckless abandon and still be able to convince the people with your lies. You are also going to need a major cable TV helping you to propagate your lie unashamedly!!
Why'd he give his returns to the "Romney team". What do they care about tax transparency? He could have and would've given more, be we know why he can't. He can't upstage the draft/tax dodger guy. People actually want him to be president. I find that quite difficult to fathom. Amazing.
Romney and Ryan are two devout Plutocrats. They truly believe rich people are best qualified to run this country and we peasants don't have any justification for being informed about their personal finances.
That is big of you Mr. Ryan.
Will it really be two elections in a row that the right sinks themselves by their choice in a vice presidential candidate?
I do not need to see 10 return just 4, but it must be for the years 1999 thru 2002.
If there is a salary of 100K for one or all those years, then you are not felon, but you have lied to me.
The last con that lied to me was Dick (I am not a crook) Nixon.
If you gave nothing to hide then show me, otherwise, you are in the same class as Nixon.