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. Here we go again

    Now a glimpse into the lack of transparancy. Holy Cow! Who in this world would vote for these guys?

    August 13, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  2. desertbro

    Two years? What are these two guys hiding? Show us what your taxes were like during the BUSH years, when the government was doing all the stuff you approved. Show us how you dealt with THOSE years!

    Us middle-class people got HOSED.

    August 13, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. ohreally

    "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." _________________________________________ Romney in 1994 also told the people of Massachusetts when he ran for senate, to trust him he had paid his taxes in Massachusetts, but three days before he was to go before the board to certify his residency in the state. He had to amend his taxes, because he in fact had not paid his taxes in Massachusetts and only paid in Utah. So Mr. Romney your word is no good. We can't trust you. Show us your tax returns.

    August 13, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  4. John

    So wait... Romney had Ryan provide more than two years of tax returns in selecting him as his VP, but we aren't allowed to see Romney's tax returns because he is running for president.... umm... am I the only that make non sense too?

    August 13, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  5. AmericanWaxwing

    Romney and Ryan are lookin' GREAT. So excited to have competent leadership in Washington again. I'm willing to give these guys a chance - our country has nothing to lose after Obama, and everything to gain.

    August 13, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  6. maggotfist

    The entire sleight of hand from both sides is truly fascinating.

    August 13, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. CharlesCT

    It is the Ryan – Romney ticket, similar to the Chaney – Bush thing. The only way that the GOPpers would let Romney in at their convention is to have a Ryan on it. That is so obvious. It takes America 18 + months to elect a President. Only now is it at least interesting.

    August 13, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. dahditdah

    So anyone wanting to know any in-depth information about Republican candidates is just being distractions, huh? Knowing something about the candidates is what the election is about. I don't think 'quit asking questions and just vote for me' is going to get it as a campaign slogan.

    August 13, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  9. Peace

    Where are the tax returns? I am an independent voter.

    August 13, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  10. Pushover

    Why is it that it took Obama 3 years to release his birth Certificate, but he demands, DEMANDS through constant national advertising, DEMANDS to see Romney's tax returns, when they have already been submitted to the IRS with no problems for the last several decades.

    Talk about a charlatan.

    August 13, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  11. Harry From Pa

    Too funny, SO you got Romney and Romney Jr. Wonder if they are going to make the same gaffes as well?

    August 13, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  12. Pushover

    Maybe CNN should have paid this much attention to Fakaria.

    August 13, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  13. FXS

    Then why not avoid all distractions and release?

    August 13, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  14. shimonbabygirl

    So, maybe I'm not well versed on the way taxes are done and filed, but I can't imagine it's that difficult to release what you make and/or owe to the federal government that you subsequently work for. With the Ryan spokesperson saying they will release "as soon as we're ready." and Romney must have such a huge paper trail to cover up...er, excuse me compile and thus release that his lawyers are really earning their fees I'm sure.

    August 13, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  15. steve King

    Tax Mitt Romney

    August 13, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  16. Realist

    "Ryan said Sunday that voters weren't interested in his or Romney's taxes...."

    I am a voter, and I am interested in Romney's tax returns. Let us see why the rich need MORE tax exemptions.

    August 13, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  17. YouCantHandleTheTruth

    Sorry Ryan, you are out of touch. I would like to know about the tax returns for a candidate with Swiss bank accounts, funds in the Cayman Islands, and $100 Million in an IRA when there are very strict restrictions on what can go in. Romney appears to be what is wrong with this country, and that doesn't make him a good candidate for trying to fix these issues. Why did he require several years of your returns but he is unwilling to provide us the same benefit.

    August 13, 2012 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  18. Majesty Rider

    What is Romney hiding???

    August 13, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  19. ally buster

    Oh no...I'm not interested in the fact that the republican candidate for President of the United States has NOT released his tax returns and refuses to do such.

    OH no, I don't think he has something to hide......

    August 13, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  20. MakesSense

    Ryan says Americans are not asking for Romney's returns. That's because they are only asking their loyal followers. What about the other 60% of the voters? The ones who really do want to know if Mitt has been gaming the system or not...

    August 13, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  21. Barry Van Kleeck

    Two years huh, well I guess he wants to be like "Mittens". Oh, I can guess that as a "Tea Party" radical–his past record is whistle clean. That is as far as the law is concerned. Otherwise I am certain that Mr. Ryan (as a congressional represenative) has only attacked the hard-working, middle class represenatives legally (as his mentor George W Bush) would have wanted. This man represents the worst of the hard-right conservative sect in this country. He, with his hard-cutting budget blan will destroy the hard earned benefits of seniors–and end the ability of low to middle class students to get the help to finance their educations. To vote for Romney-Ryan means then end of making the true hard working Americans strong. Period. And yes you righties, I have done my research. Period again.....

    August 13, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  22. Milton K. Wiah

    The republican do not want to lead America, they just want to remove a man they do not like(Obama).
    So they think the American people are stupid enough to go with their story. He does not have anything to
    hide, he is not a rich man, never have anyone renting from him in Houston as Romney, he does not have
    a hobby horse to be business to receive tax deduction of $77.000.00 IRS.

    August 13, 2012 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  23. Eric

    Guess Mitt and Ryan didn't see the poll that says that YES, we do want to see your Tax returns...

    August 13, 2012 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  24. maltytasker

    What? Only two years? I want to see ten years. What's he hiding?

    August 13, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  25. Jack

    I have never believed that it is right to invade into one's private life. The press has convinced Joe Q. Public that it is their right and that anything is fair game.

    I am a 64 year old conservative, not one of you "Johnny Come Lately" Conservatives!

    So, since you "Tea Party" Republicans have been so petty to called this President everything but the "N" word, made the "Birthing" issue a contiunal distraction. You have made character assassination by innuendo one of the main stays of your campaign.

    2 years of tax returns by your V.P. candidate and one year Mr, Rommey's tax return's are far short of the disclosure that you are demanding of the President.

    Good luck spin doctor's this conservative see through you, you don't have my vote this year!

    August 13, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
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