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. longshot

    Under the Ryan budget Mitt Romney would pay 0.82% tax rate. Amazingly, that's more than he paid in the hidden years he's not showing voters.

    August 12, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Andrew

    Of course, why would he release more and give the democrats ammunition against Romney. @ is the magic number.

    August 12, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. SK

    Mr. Ryan is more a yes man or bag boy than person speaking his mind; this is a great quality for VeeP in North Korea...2 years is what he had been told; over the last 30 hours, he merely repeating all the rhetoric we have heard numerous times (and getting bored); he had added zero new idea or conversation.....great choice.

    August 12, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. paul

    I would imagine that Ryan was told straight up from the beginning to only release two years. That would make Mitt look really bad if Ryan released more than two years. Mitt's own father said that a candidate should release like 10 years of tax returns. Makes one wonder if Mitt has something to hide and my guess is he does.

    August 12, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. oldfolkie

    So Ryan had to give Romney a few years of tax returns to be vetted, but I'm suppose to trust Romney and vote for him without knowing what he's hiding. Sorry Bud, it ain't gonna happen!

    August 12, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. Techno Viking

    and the covering for his boss begins

    August 12, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. John

    Looks as though Paul Ryan is being just as disingenuous as Mitt Romney.

    Obviously they both have something to hide in their tax returns.

    August 12, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. KD

    Your wrong Ryan, even some of the top GOP Kool aid drinkers want to see the last 12 years of Romney's Taxes returns. Every one in Wisconsin wants to see all your Taxes Ryan.

    August 12, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Phil thomas

    This is such an easy thing to put to bed, Romney just has to release his tax returns and common sense sys when he stalls he's hiding something. If some one accused me of something false I would release evidence to show the contrary that's how things work

    August 12, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Loathstheright

    Doesn't want Willard to look too bad with not releasing his over the 10 years he did not pay anything, or at least close to nothing. The annoucemnt of Ryan was meant as a distraction from Willards tax avoidance issues.

    August 12, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. mary

    hate to break it to you, mr ryan but the american people DO want to see those tax returns...yours and romney's. if you are going to talk about your 'trickle down' economic plan then we voters have a right to see to see who we are electing. of course, we have the ryan budget that makes medicare a voucher system so that only the rich will have health care in their senior years and we have your record in congress where you only managed to pass two bills in 13 years and we know where you stand on women's issues so i thank you for that disclosure...now about those tax returns...

    August 12, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Ed T Duck

    Not so fast young man. The point is, we want a commander is chief that we can trust. Romney should just release the returns.

    August 12, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. newsscanner

    So it's important for Mittens to see more than to years of tax returns but the American public needs to just shut up and be satisfied with what's been given them?

    August 12, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Bob

    I think the democrats should propose legislation. Call it the "George Romney Memorial Act". In the spirit of the great, ethical, and trustworthy George Romney, Presidential candidates are required to live up to the standard that George Romney set and release twelve years of tax returns before they can be put on a ballot. Let's watch the GOP argue how stupid and silly George Romney was in doing that and that the American people don't deserve to be able to know what every shareholder requires of a prospective CEO.

    August 12, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. Tax_shelter_Romney

    Romney showed his taxes to the IRS but not us. We know Mitt, the foreign tax shelter expert, has something to hide.

    August 12, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. Adam

    Both Romney and Ryan say that this is not a big deal, however this is a big deal for most Americans because it speaks to the canidates character. If Romney has been doing everything he can to avoid taxes in this country, while most of us have to pay a much larger percentage due to how we make our money, I think that's wrong. I don't want a president that has basically tried all of his life to avoid taxes and then expect to be thought us someone who can represent this country. He represents a small eilte, that have taken over this country and will drag the rest of us through the muck.

    August 12, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. David

    And the game continues....

    August 12, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. Brian

    this is silly. i don't make much, and I wouldn't want to release my income either. If I am collecting money under the table, can anyone expect me to file taxes on that as income? This is just silly tactics from the dems. I don't think their release of their taxes mean anything at all.

    August 12, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Sphy

    Romney has only give one complete year of tax returns.

    August 12, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Independent from New Hampshire

    You lie. We do care, very much, and those tax returns DO matter and that will be only part of your undoing.

    August 12, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. Citizen

    "What I hear from people around this country, they're not asking, 'Where are the tax returns?" I guess Ryan has not been listening to people around this country or he is deaf. What an insult to the tax payers.

    August 12, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. smcole

    I want to know if the reality of what Romney is hiding is as good or better than what we think he is hiding....

    August 12, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. artraveler

    Instead of buying one pig in a poke, we are now being asked to buy 2 pigs in a poke. What's with these people? Too good to have to show that they are Americans?

    August 12, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. Larry L

    Interesting that Ryan trusts Romney with "several years" but like Romney, he doesn't trust the American people with a glimpse of his financial ethics and honesty. I guess it's safe to show Romney... it's likely they share the same dishonest practices. How much proof do people need that the Romney/Ryan ticket is nothing more than a front for the Koch brothers?

    August 12, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  25. jean

    Setting the bar pretty low there, aren't they? Actually, I'm surprised that he released anything. If he hadn't, he could have made Romney look good in comparison.

    August 12, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
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