(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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What a joke...
Just how gullible does Romney think we are? How many years of tax returns do you think Romney required of Ryan during the vetting process?
The splash over the annoucement of Ryan for the VP slot will take the heat off for a while, but Romney will find he can't dodge the tax issue. I don't care how excited "the base" is about the Tea Party Kid – in the end full disclosure will be demanded & is due to the American people.
So sick of hearing about tax returns!! If the public thinks they need to see more, lobby for the requirement to be changed. The whole "precedent" garbage is like watching a spitting contest. Totally stupid!! If there's a problem with Romney's taxes, where are the indictments? Does anyone pay more than legally required? I sure don't!! I'm firmly middle-class and paid 8% or half Romney's rate. If you don't like the current tax code, find the candidate who has the best solution to change it. What are the ideas, already? Quit the distractions!!
Ryan probably doesn't have anything to hide in his taxes, but releasing more than two years would certainly make his new BFF Mitt look like he's hiding something in his tax returns that most Americans would find objectionable – if not illegal. How can 45% of the voting public favor a candidate who won't reveal his past financial dealings??? We're just supposed to trust him on it??
Another Republican liar heard from.
So the Romney campaign saw several years of Ryan's tax returns, but we're supposed to accept 2 years from Mittens?
In truth, Mittens hasn't releases 2 full years yet: whatever is taking his accountant so long? The books must not be cooked enoughto serve to us. Perhaps Romney would enjoy firing the current accountant and hiring an even slower one.
He wouldn't dare release more than two years worth of tax returns as that is all his master has released. Can't make the boss look worse that he already does.
Just what America needs...two more tax cheats!
Oh the irony. So Ryan needed to turn in 'several years' of return so the Romney team can vet him as a VP candidate. Why does the public only get to see 2 years of return for Romney as presidential candidate? By the same standard Romney needs to be vetted with 'several years' of return as well.
He should ask a few more people since everyone I know is asking about Romney's tax returns – where are they?
Romney and Ryan are supporting the wealthy people than poor and middle class. Just watch out. Obama 2012!
I believe most people are interested in seeing Mitt's Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) forms.
Did Romney participate in the 2009 foreign bank account amnesty plan? I just have to believe if Romney had nothing to hide he would have released 12 years of tax returns.
This is the pinnacle of political comedy. So Ryan releases "several years" but 2 yrs will be released to public....as opposed of releasing all of them which could then lead to the same expectation on Romney. Unless Romney also plans to release a select number of years just before election?
This is so predictable.
HOW BAD IS IT
Mr. Ryan. If that's all you're going to release, just forget it.
Insufficient disclosures from both candidates.
As soon as they're ready? In other words, he doesn't want to embarrass Romney with his tax returns. People will still demand Romney's tax returns if he thinks he's going to buy the whitehouse and Ryan will be the one embarrassed.
I'm glad he is re-igniting the tax return issue!
Not a big surprise that he is following along with Mitt. Really Mitt needs to release those tax returns, this is ridiculous, Ryan shows Mitt at least 5 years and the American people only get 1 1/2! If he doesn't release those returns this question will haunt him until November and he will lose in the end. Because with each passing day people will wonder more and more, what is he hiding, it must be really bad.
Romney is obviously hiding something or he would be more open.
SHOW US YOUR TAXES GOV. ROMNEY , at least 10 years.
I am not distracted at all.
I think the Country should get as many years of complete returns as Romney gave to McCain 4 years ago.
And we should get as many years from Ryan as he gave to Romney.
The Country should be able to do its own vetting.
So Romney gets to see more than two years of your tax returns to properly vet you to be a candidate for VP, but the American people don't get the same consideration to properly vet Romney for the most powerful office in the world. If Romney gets to do due diligence, why can't we?
He is right. The public doesnt give two rats about tax returns. In fact truthfully how many of the public have seen the year that Romney has put out? Or Bidens or the Presidents? We want jobs, homes and security. I was an Obama supporter up until 2010. I almost lost my home, my brother almost lost his home, I lost my job and my brother lost his job. My brother was a vet and committed suicide because he was not properly diagnosed with a mental health condition. This country in 2010 or any other year for that matter has done nothing to help our vets. Real problems need some real answers. If Romney and Ryan can help the rich that will help us that are poor because when the rich are getting breaks and providing jobs then I am working. It cant help my brother but it can help his 4 kids and my 1 child. So yeah I dont mind switching teams and voting Republican I need to do this for my daughter.
When Ryan is willing to give more years to his vetters than the American people it makes one wonder what they don't want us to know. Or is just that more years would make Romney look bad. I think Romney was forced to take Ryan to keep the extreme right quiet...besides the names look good together on a sign. How do you even fit "Pawlenty" onto a sign? Also Romney and Pawlenty would sound like an Italian or Middle Eastern dish.
Romney and Ryan sounds nice. I think Romney and Ricewould have sounded better, but I don't think she would do it.
Hey democrats, pay attention to your own transparency before telling others to. Obama is anything but transparent and that after he himself stated he would be.