Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney offered more details about his taxes on Thursday, saying he's never paid lower than a 13 percent rate.
"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years. I never paid less than 13 percent," he said. "I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year."
The statement, made to reporters during a press briefing on the campaign trail in South Carolina, was made to rebut claims by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who claimed a knowledgeable source told him the reason Romney wasn't releasing more tax returns was because in some years he hadn't paid any taxes at all.
Romney, whose father, George, initiated the tradition for presidential candidates to voluntarily release tax returns for public scrutiny, has released his 2010 filings and a summary of his 2011 returns, for which he filed an extension on. His father turned over 12 years' worth.
It's a subject that Romney has faced repeated press scrutiny over, making for sharp criticisms from President Barack Obama's campaign.
The return Romney has already released earlier this year, under pressure from GOP primary rivals, showed he paid a rate of about 14 percent on income in 2010, far lower than most Americans. That's because the majority of his earnings come from returns on investments, known as capital gains, rather than wages, which are taxed at a much higher rate. The records also showed how complicated his finances were structured, with still active or recently closed accounts in known tax havens, such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
Democrats, not satisfied to take Romney's word on the subject, have demanded he prove that he's being truthful by releasing more information from prior years' returns.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.