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

    He will show them to Romney and not us.......What are they hiding........Are they ashamed of their tax records????????

    August 13, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  2. RandyF

    What a joke. Ryan has always been on government payroll or is family's. I'm sure the Tea party wants to see all his returns.

    August 13, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. Pam

    Well Ryan doesn't have 100 Million in an contribution limited IRA now does he.

    August 13, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  4. Jack in Florida

    What are they hiding? Why the secrecy? It appears more than ever, that we are returning to the Bush/Cheney years of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people. NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!!!

    August 13, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  5. Cheryl

    Romney, release 10 years of returns. One partial-year return, and promises of one more year at some point, are not enough. What are you hiding?

    August 13, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  6. mdm123

    Mr. Ryan, I think if you were to ask people other than the ones that you encounter at Republican rallies, they would indeed tell you that they are interested in Romney's ta returns, particularly showing what he paid in tax year 2008 and 2009. It is quite possible that his accountants brought his rate down to zero or near-zero because of carry-forward paper losses from the economic melt-down of that era. I don't believe they care much about other years.

    August 13, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  7. Dave

    Release only 2 years to the public...NOW THAT IS COMEDY AT ITS BEST!

    August 13, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  8. CanadaONE

    He is only releasing two years so that he does not make Romney have to release more...


    Ryan don't worry about your money Romeny will show you how to invest in other countries so you can don't pay American taxes.

    August 13, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  9. Dumbpolitics

    It looks like Mr. Ryan doesn't have a problem releasing his tax returns. Of course he has to do what the big guy does. Mr. Robme however the anchor baby why can't he follow in his father's path and do the right thing and release more returns. It smells like a tax cheat. We've learned already how he helped lie about the Marriott's tax problems. We know and can add the numbers he cheated on his retirement fund and has over a 100 million in which is impossible to do if you follow the rules the right way. Why on earth is this guy running for President it seems like anything he does to earn money he lies cheat and steal. I guess you are suppose to look at it and say it was succesful that he can cheat his fellow Americans and lie whenever he has any responsiblities to paying his fair share in this country. I believe most of us taxpayers will see him for who he is a tax cheater and somebody who will rob the system call it a sucess and grin.

    August 13, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  10. Dave

    Release only 2 years of tax forms to the public...NOW THAT IS COMEDY AT ITS BEST! Seriously, he requires more than 2 years of returns to vet the joker, but will only allow him to make 2 years public so as not to make romney look bad. WHAT pray tell is romney really trying to hide? He will forfeit the presidency before he will make the truth known. I guess better to be suspected a liar and a tax cheat than to release his tax forms and remove all doubt!

    August 13, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  11. patw2100

    The GOP is lock to win in November. The only question is how close to 538 electoral votes they come.

    August 13, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  12. ricardo1968

    These taxes would be a great indicator of whether Romney is part of the solution or part of the problem. It is not a distraction, but fundamental to the issues we are facing.

    August 13, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  13. Crismn

    This is ridiculous! What do Rey think? That we are stupid?!? This issue won't go away by just making it a new Republican standard! Mr. Romney has to release its tax returns for the years he did at Bain!!!

    August 13, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  14. The_Mick

    Two years: as I predicted on the comment boards of the "How many years will he release?" articles. He wasn't going to make Romney look bad. DUH!

    August 13, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  15. 0Patrick0

    I knew it! Romney was gonna demand several years of Ryan's tax records so that he would know whether to pick him or not, but then allow him to show the American public no more than the 2 years of records he himself was willing to show us. What's good for Mitt isn't good for the American citizenry, I get it Mitt.

    August 13, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  16. NJfinest2009

    Mitt put the final nail in his coffin picking the medicare killer. They just lost Florida! Obama/Biden 2012

    August 13, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  17. BEn275

    Lets see the tax returns Romney!

    August 13, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  18. Vincent

    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.


    Ryan must have some difficulty with his hearing and/or reading comprehension then. Huge numbers of people from all sides of the political spectrum (which includes the important 'indpendents') have been asking to see more years of returns from a presidential candidate for more transparency and to quiet the demands. It makes Mitt less trustworthy when he engages in these kinds of tactics.

    August 13, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  19. Richard

    I guess mittens either found something wrong or is trying to set up the dems with ryans tax forms. Ryan is not the concern about hiding money from the American people, its mitens we are concerned about!

    August 13, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  20. Richard

    He's hearing from people. Unfortunately, the people he is hearing from are his people. We shall see in November what the American people want. I'll bet they won't be moving into the White House come November!

    August 13, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  21. TBS

    Americans ARE concerned about your taxes Willard!! How long will it take your accountant to finalize your returns? He has been working on them for months now! I guess it is difficult to calculate how much money you truly do have. It is spread out to Swis Bank accounts, The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and who knows where else! A candidate for the highest office in our land should NEVER try to hide is true wealth in foregin countries!

    August 13, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  22. Leeford

    I hade to release 5 years of returns to my creditor for a 130k house mortgage. How much is the White House worth?

    August 13, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  23. Stephen

    Um, yes we are interested on how you get out of paying taxes, you great big patriot, you.

    August 13, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  24. Jeff Burdick

    Consider these first two years of Ryan's taxes as just the opening bid in a longer negotiation. As a compromise on releasing Mitt's IRS records, I predict the Romney camp will agree to release 24 years of Paul Ryan's tax returns (including back to Paul's "Magic Mike" college dancing years)... and maybe Mitt's reimbursable gas mileage forms from the Iowa caucuses. For funny photo commentary about the new GOP ticket, enjoy this new gallery: http://bit.ly/SbOATb

    August 13, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  25. Mark

    Wow. I have no real problem with Ryan and I realize that his reason for releasing only 2 years of tax returns is so he does not make Romney look stupid but – Wow. I guess that the internal vetting of your VP pick requires many years worth of returns to be examined – but the American public does not rate the same courtesy for the Presidential nominee. I would love to see one debate where the question to Romney is whether (yes or no) he took part in the Tax Haven Amnesty deal from the IRS in 2009. If he answers no than his tax returns just show a low tax rate that might embarrass him and he’s a fool for not releasing them. If he takes 2 minutes to speak but never actually answers the question than he is a criminal tax evader who received amnesty – and he does not stand a chance of winning the presidency.

    August 13, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
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