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. Guillermo

    What is he ashamed of and what is he hiding?
    Is he dirty or maybe not fully honest in his filings?
    Somebody has something to hide!!!!!!

    August 12, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. Kyle

    Wow!! Mitt doesn't like the way the game has been played for the last 40 yrs. So being the ceo type that always gets his way; he just decides he's going to play by his own set of rules. I wonder if they get the news on George Romney Sr's planet. So he could see just how far the fruit has fallen from the tree. Don't be scared Mitt, release your taxes and own it. Take pride in showing us all how patriotic you truly are. Put us in our place for ever doubting you and show us how many millions you pay in taxes.

    August 12, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. DocHollywood

    Of course they (the American people) aren't looking for more tax returns. According to the republicans, they're looking for Obama's birth certificate. Obama's shown his long form, it would be nice to see Mitt's long form. But of course, he doesn't want people to see how well rich people are allowed to work the system to minimize taxes while the poor and middle class don't have those advantages.

    August 12, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Debra E Dickey

    So Romney doesn't think the public is interested in his tax returns? Boy, is he delusional! His very reluctance to release them has made me want to see them. He's obviously not the man his father was.

    August 12, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Curzen

    So for Romney just two years of tax returns are not enough to make an important choice, he required more than what is legally required. So why should voters who will have to make an equally if not more important choice be satisfied with just two years of tax returns? Mitt is running on his business savviness and economic expertise, the best way for voters to ascertain that are the hard numbers provided by the tax returns he won't release.

    August 12, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  6. Peter

    Actually, we do want to see the tax returns. And we want them notarized by the IRS. And we want more than two years worth. And we aren't going to give it up for his entire presidency (if he makes it that far). It is kind of like the birther thing.

    August 12, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Ryan

    How about Harry Reid? Can you say hypocrite?

    August 12, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. cali girl

    I guess it was not part of the vetting progess. Look like the right at not learned the anything since Palin, and that is bad ju ju.

    August 12, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. Rob

    Where are the tax returns?

    August 12, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. Bob

    Show your taxes Mitt – we need all of it.

    August 12, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. pat carr

    whoopee doo. i'm SO impressed. what a "great" guy!

    August 12, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. shawn l

    Nobody cares. He has been a government employee since he was 28. Does anyone wanna see his tax returns from when he drove the oscar meyer wiener mobile? We want to see Romneys since 1. hes a multi millionaire and 2. he refuses to show them since he paid next to nothing in taxes for the last 10 years.

    August 12, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Woo hoo,....wee heee. Everyone gets to give less than the nominee himself? PLEASE. Give me a break.

    August 12, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. JohnReedjr

    The calls for disclosure may be distractions to Ryan and the 1%, but to the majority of us they are essential. So long as Romney withholds his returns we can only believe that he has something to hide. If he does not want to be open and honest, he does not deserve to be dog catcher, never nibd president

    August 12, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. george of the jungle

    so wheres your returns mittens?????

    August 12, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Jimmi

    I just don't understand how any normal (non-millionaire) American, as side from the ignorant Bible-thumpers, can vote for this guy.

    August 12, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Cindy

    I'm sure I am offending the right, so I can't be posted. Again. Woo hoo...weee heeee. Wake up America!

    August 12, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. Paul

    well that's a no brainer. If he was to release anything more, the questions would be directed at Romney. By the way, Romney should release at 10 years and for that alone , he will not be elected.

    August 12, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Simon

    Ryan the liar. Everyone is asking where are the tax returns! Could it be they are hiding something? No one knows except them. Did they use the amnesty program from the IRS to comply with the law and not hid their assetts in tax shelters in 2009-2010? Did they have any more ridiculous tax breaks like over $80,000 for horse dresses? These two are laughable at best.

    August 12, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  20. fryuujin

    he vets the VP, but nobody vets romney. what a system

    August 12, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  21. Howard

    Of course, Ryan can't release any more than 2 years' worth, no matter how clean he may be. That would upstage Romney, and we couldn't have that.

    August 12, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. Jack

    The last president not to release their tax returns was Nixon. Looks like Romney has something in common with him.

    August 12, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  23. TEW

    you know if you keep repeating a lie it becomes the truth until someone provides proof to debunk it. For example as a kid your parents lied to you about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, Storks bringing newborns to mother etc until you were old enough to find out the truth. The GOP will continue the lie that Romney's taxes are not important, job creators need tax breaks to create jobs, GOP is for middle class and poor people until someone debunks the myth. Hence this is Prez Obama and this is now why we have an election about two distict visions and directon for the country. If I'm 55 and older I'm set irt Medicare until the changes take place where I will be forced to pay more (they are counting on me dying before that happens) if I'm 54 and younger than the Gov't will go back on a promise and will force me to work.longer and pay more for my medical insurance hoping I will die from being overworked and starving due to the low wage job I will be forced to take. Just look around.. at walmart you see seniors working as security guards, granny working in a fast food resturant, grandpa working as a maintenance man in the airport this is the vision of the GOP plan and it will expand to everyone. Military pensions will be eliminated and put into a 401K and considering the elimination of wall street regulations this pension will fall prey to the vulture capitalist that cause the crash of 2008.

    August 12, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Tr1Xen

    Happy yet, Dems? Of course you aren't. You don't care about either of their tax returns. You're just digging for something negative to latch onto because you have absolutely nothing.

    August 12, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. DAVID

    who care what ryan is going to release and how many years either. we all know were he has been for 18 years. WE NEED MITTENS TAXES RELEASED BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHO OR WHAT THIS GUY IS ABOUT! you can't tell anything by what he says because he can't be pinned down to answer any questions by the press. RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS MITTENS 1 OR 2 YEARS DOESN'T GET IT WHEN YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FOR THIS JOB!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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