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 (1,477 Responses)
  1. metasri

    Well looks like when Mitt is president – he will send us all a refund check for all the years we have been 20, 30 and 40% of our income in taxes – after all he will be representing all of us. What a sham. Let everyone play by the same rules.

    August 16, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. catallergy

    Wow, a whole 13%. And here I only pay 29% of my salary.

    August 16, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Vincent

    As an conservative leaning independent, i have to say the GOP suppoters babbling about how the president didnt Do something when he had the chance .... what chance?? The GOP has fillibustered and obstructed every democrat bill (and vice versa has also been true) that has been brought into the senate and congress.
    Its absolutely ridiculous the lack of work in government. Theyre all willing to sacrifice the nation for their games. The only people profiting are the 'rich' from both sides of the aisle.

    August 16, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. DAVID

    i for one after this long don't believe any thing you say about any thing. RELEASE YOUR TAXES MITTENS OR GIVE UP THE WHITE HOUSE YOUR CHOICE!

    August 16, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  5. Mark

    AS a Obama supporter i believe him on the 13% the as the one return he has already released. So the question is why not release those other 10 years. Answer because there is more in them that is very harming. This idiot should of kept his mouth shut about the 13% because it just makes it worse. He has said again he will be only releasing 1 more year before the election. why???? if what he says is true about the 13% the American people would except that and this issue would be behind him. I wish I was in John McCain's seat he's the one holding the smoking bomb

    August 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. Rennes11

    Show us the proof, your word is not good enough. You lied about your tax returns under oath before. I don't believe you.

    August 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. shaundadon

    repubs who act like this doesn't matter are out of touch....It's insulting to the american people to not release the info....if you have nothing to hide then it would be a non issue

    August 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  8. Tom

    For a minute, lets assume Romney is telling the truth... he has paid 13% taxes and is a multi-millionaire. Meanwhile, as upper middle class, I pay about 28%! HELLO..... PROBLEM????

    August 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. Lenny

    Really? That's the trump Democrats are playing? Romney has too much money? Obama's toast.

    August 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Perkins

    It will be a substantial miscarriage of justice if a person who considers himself as a potus to be categorically refuse to disclose his return as per the demand of the potential voters. Release, release u taxes and lets get over this issues. You will definitely find yself in the hotest port of mushroom quality come November should the demand or request of the electorates not put into play. Do us a favour by releasing u post taxes as per the voice of the people.

    August 16, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. US Tax Payer..

    What is Romney bloating about paying not more than 13% in taxes in 10 yrs! That is actually less than half of what common US ppl pay! Why should he get away with paying on 13%? Aren't his accounts loaded....and struggling americans who live by pay check to pay check pay full tax? Does not seem fair at all...

    August 16, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  12. SMJ

    You "think" you paid 13%? Shouldn't you KNOW how much you paid? Until you PROVE that you've done nothing wrong, this Republican will not believe you...and I will vote for President Obama gladly.

    August 16, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. belinda

    Why should we believe anything he says ? If he's not going to show those Returns? Ridiculous. He claims Harry Reid is a liar, prove it . We don't believe anything you say. PROVE IT. We love you Harry Reid . Keep up the good work. Your a better man than this Clown will ever be , ask Laura Ingram(Republican twit) she says he's a total loser.

    August 16, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. David R

    Was that 13% or 13 cents?

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. Tim

    Well I made 60K last year which is half what I used to make before Bush destroyed our economy and I paid 33 percent in taxes. Romney makes millions every year and pays 13 percent and then acts like he is doing more than he should because he gives money to his church. He wrote off 75K last year for horse expenses, which was 15K more than I made. Mitt Romney can kiss my as...

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. logic

    Sorry Adam, Paul Ryan is too busy asking for stimulus money and then lying about it.

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. Solitaire

    Romney says, does he? 13%. Well, cr@p. I guess we should be pleased that he bothered to pay taxes at all. I guess taxes are for hard working suckers like us. Rich folk probably think we should be grateful that they haven't shipped ALL the jobs overseas.

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. Kasey

    Dang.. I make lot less than he does, and I paid much more percentage wise than he did. If you are making 10 million per year, additional 1 million is not going to change much but if you are making 30k per year, $500 is like a month worth of a rent. This rich guy representing me? What does he know about 95% of Americans??

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. Yeahona

    I can say I make a million dollars too, but that doesn't make it so. What are you hiding Romney? If you're not hiding anything, then show your tax returns. After all, you and your thugs still think Obama wasn't born here. So I guess it is one set of standards for you and one set of standards for everyone else.

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Jim

    Paying 13% taxes is REALLY Low. Does that include State taxes too? MA is a high tax state, so that would make the Federal portion even lower. I would say that this is nothing for him to crow about! His failure to disclose tax info is what is driving these "small issues". Can we trust him? Is he one of us, or not? We all pay lots more taxes than that!

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. caa3011

    I wish I could get away with paying 13% per year.

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. Art Herman

    The Key Words in the article are the first two in the heading, "Romney Says"....

    As President Reagan said, when he headed what was then the real Republican Party,

    TRUST BUT VERIFY!

    By the way, think Ronald Reagan would send Nancy out to say "You people" are not getting any Tax Releases?

    August 16, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. average job

    I earn about $95K a year. My wife earns around $55K. We paid approximately 40% of our gross in taxes!! Go figure....

    August 16, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    .13% eh Mittens ? Why the &$#%+ am I paying 28%

    August 16, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. MittDaTwit

    @Adam, why would you consider this a small issue? Most of us are not rich, and we are paying 30-35%. Probably you too, so maybe you should be concerned....are you really going to vote for Prez–a tax cheat? I say bring back the 9/9/9 guy. Now he made sense!

    August 16, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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