Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday insisted that he had paid more than 13 percent of his income in taxes — or more if donations to the Mormon church are included — over the last 10 years, and accused the people who want to see his returns of being “small minded.”
During a press conference at the airport in Greer, South Carolina, the GOP hopeful told reporters that he couldn’t understand why people keep asking about his taxes.
“I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues that we face,” Romney explained.
“But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13 percent,” he continued. “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So, I pay taxes every single year.”
Romney added that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) assertion that he had not paid any taxes over 10 years was “totally false.”
“I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “I don’t believe it for a minute by the way.”
“But every year, I paid at least 13 percent,” he insisted. “And if you add in addition the amount the goes to charity [at the Mormon church], well, the number gets well above 20 percent.”
During an interview that’s scheduled to air on Thursday, Ann Romney said that there would be “no more tax releases given” by the wealthy couple, but she also insisted that “there’s nothing we’re hiding.”
“We have been very transparent to what’s legally required of us,” the candidate’s wife told NBC’s Natalie Morales. “But the more we release, the more we get attacked, the more we get questioned, the more we get pushed. And so, we have done what’s legally required. And there’s going to be no more tax releases given.”
“There’s nothing we’re hiding,” Ann Romney said. “You know, we’ve had a blind trust for how many years? We don’t even know what’s in there. It’s been managed by blind trust since before Mitt was governor, you know, 2002 forward. And so, you know, I’ll be curious to see what’s in there too.”
Over the course of the summer, President Barack Obama’s campaign has successfully attacked Mitt Romney by connecting him to American jobs that Bain Capital allegedly helped send overseas. It has also hammered him for not releasing more than two years of tax returns and having offshore investments and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland.
Watch this video from CNN Starting Point, broadcast Aug. 15, 2012.