Mitt Romney said today that he'll release his 2010 tax returns and an estimate for 2011 on Tuesday, bending to relentless pressure from his GOP rivals.
Fresh from his sound defeat in the South Carolina primary, Romney conceded on Fox News Sunday that he and his campaign "made a mistake in holding off as long as we did."
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, called the issue of his tax returns a "distraction" that helped contribute to his second-place finish in South Carolina. The one-time GOP front-runner lost by more than 12 percentage points to Newt Gingrich, who released his own 2010 tax return last Thursday.
"We want to get back to the real issues of the campaign: leadership, character and vision for America, how to get jobs in America and how to rein in the excessive scale of the federal government," Romney told Fox host Chris Wallace.
Romney, a multimillionaire who made his fortune as a venture capitalist, acknowledged it "was not a great week for me" and that his response to when and how much he would disclose about his taxes had been a contributing factor.
Last week, Romney told reporters he pays close to a 15% tax rate because of his investments.
He brushed off a question Sunday about releasing multiple years of tax returns -- as his father, George, once did. "One of the reasons that we're putting together the 2011 estimates, as well as the 2010 return, is so there's not a drip, drip, drip," Romney said, essentially ruling out a "second release down the road."
Romney also responded to a question about his investments in the Cayman Islands, a noted tax haven. His campaign has insisted he has not taken advantage of any tax haven in his holdings.
Romney said today that the taxes paid on that investment "were full U.S. taxes" as if the fund had been established in the United States. He also said he expected Democrats to make political hay out of those investments.
"We pay full, fair taxes and you'll see it's a pretty substantial amount," Romney said. read more