August 16th, 2012
01:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney says he paid at least 13% in taxes for last ten years

Greer, South Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney has paid no less than 13% in personal income taxes over the past ten years, he said Thursday.

The presumptive GOP nominee has faced withering criticism from Democrats over the release of his tax returns, including a charge by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid that Romney had paid no taxes for a ten year period. Reid did not specify if those were the last ten years, or an earlier period.

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Romney expressed frustration with Reid's attack at a press conference with reporters in South Carolina.

"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13%. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. I paid taxes every single year," Romney said, explaining he had gone back to check his records after being asked by a reporter about the tax rates he had paid. "Harry Reid's charge is totally false. I am sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him – I don't believe it for a minute by the way – but every year I paid at least 13% and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why, the number gets well above 20%."

Reid had told reporters an anonymous source gave him a tip. A source close to Reid later said that Reid got the information from an investor with Bain, the private equity firm Romney ran.

A spokesman for Reid, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement Thursday after Romney's press conference, "We'll believe it when we see it. Until Mitt Romney releases his tax returns, Americans will continue to wonder what he's hiding. Romney seems to think he plays by a different set of rules than every other presidential candidate for the last thirty years, all of whom lived up to the standard of transparency set by Mitt Romney's father and released their tax returns."

Romney has released his 2010 tax returns and an estimate of his 2011 tax returns when he filed for an extension, but has declined to make available any earlier returns.

On Thursday he called insistent questions over his tax documents "small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face" such as unemployment and the nuclear threat from Iran.

President Barack Obama's campaign quickly dismissed Romney's tax revelation in a statement.

"Mitt Romney today said that he did indeed 'go back and look' at his tax returns and that he never paid less than 13% in taxes in any year over the past decade. Since there is substantial reason to doubt his claims, we have a simple message for him: prove it," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith wrote. "Even though he's invested millions in foreign tax havens, offshore shell corporations, and a Swiss bank account, he's still asking the American people to trust him. However, given Mitt Romney's secrecy about his returns, coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (1,476 Responses)
  1. reginaldb6

    Let us see ROMNEY RELEASE YOUR TAXES!!! What are you hiding????

    August 16, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Andrew

    And we are still waiting for who Trump confirmed that says Obama wasn't born in Hawaii. Get over yourself Mitt. We know you paid taxes of some sort, and we also know you pay MUCH less than the rest of us. You are running for President, you dont get privacy with your taxes and your life anymore..... if y

    August 16, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney must provide tax documentation. This payment of taxes issue addresses his character and honesty.

    August 16, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. wait!

    must be nice to only pay that %... he's just like us & getting my vote for sure

    August 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Ayn Rand(author of 'Selfishness is a Virtue') was an atheist, so doesn't that make her disciple, Paul Ryan, "ANTI-CHRIST"?

    And we are just supposed to "trust you" \when you are nothing more than a "well-oiled weather vane"?

    Wasn't it a con god that said "trust but verify"?

    August 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Tired of republican lies

    I don't want to hear what you said you paid...We want to SEE what you did or did not pay!!!!

    August 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Translation: "Hi, I'm Mitt Romney, and I'd like to be the next Coward in Chief."

    August 16, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Did you get amnesty for tax evasion or not?

    August 16, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Documents speak for themselves. Let THEM do the talking.

    August 16, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    On Thursday he called insistent questions over his tax documents "small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face" such as unemployment and the nuclear threat from Iran.
    -----------–

    Notable quotes:

    "I am not a crook" – Richard Nixon

    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" – Bill Clinton

    "I did not father that child" – John Edwards

    "Trust me" – Mitt Romney

    Might just as well get 'em out now, Mitt. It's gonna dog you wherever you go.

    August 16, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    "I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13%

    We'll make that determination when YOU show them to US. Until then, you're a liar and that goes for your angry wife also.

    August 16, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. rs

    It is nice to knw that Mr. Romney (who earns more in a day than I do in a year) pays at a rate about half I do, and aims to cut his own tax rate to .84%. It that his Presidential motivation?

    August 16, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. LBAM

    Robmey is pathalogically mandacious.

    August 16, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Savant

    If Romney looked over his taxes lately as he mentioned, why don't he release them? Come on Mitt,who do you think you're fooling yourself? Not the American voter. I don't care what your wife says. Lol...

    August 16, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. john2397

    He (Romney) paid 13% tax for the last 10 years and want to have another 10-20% tax cut? A lowest paid minimum wedge earner Americans pay much more than Romney. It is no doubt; these radical Republicans are not only sucking oil of the world but sucking blood of poor and middle class AMERICA. Shame on me, if I will vote him to become my President and impose more cuts on the wealthiest Americans and more cuts on our wallets. Please keep in mind, the 26 largest American corporation has paid much more to their CEO than they paid to the uncle Sham? They are really looting the wealth of the poor and middle Class.

    August 16, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. LBAM

    And I cannot wait for the debates. OBama is going to kill him. I hope the moderators dont come with basic questions. Robmey is going to flip and etch and sketch.

    August 16, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Mr 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" will outsource all the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly, to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    So, if there are no issues and you paid at least 13 per cent(half of the rate I pay on 70K, but never mind) then just release the forms what are you concerned about?

    Oh yeah, now I remember, that 100K salary from Bain that shows up in 2002, never mind, you lying "dog".

    August 16, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Darryl

    Good, Show us !

    August 16, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Curtis in Woodstock, GA

    At first, I thought this was just election season politics. I completely expected his tax returns to be released by now and for us to move on. But, the longer Romney holds out, the longer I have to wonder what he doesn't want everyone to see. If he lets this go for too much longer, it is going to define him.

    August 16, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Harold

    I make a lot less than Mr. Rommney and pay a lot higher tax rate.

    August 16, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. JDinHouston

    Romney, put up or shut up.

    August 16, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. MI Recovery

    Probably 13% in state taxes.

    August 16, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Joan

    Prove it. Show the returns. If there is nothing to hide then there should be no problem doing it. How can he promise to provide transparency in his government if he is elected when he won't be transparent about his own taxes as all other presidential candidates have done? Something is definitely not right here.

    August 16, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. NoLongerRepublican

    Thanks for assuring us Romney hood, now lets see the proof!! Your actions (or lack thereof) speak louder than your words Romney.

    August 16, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. JT

    13% what a Jocker.........

    August 16, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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