During Monday night's GOP 2012 debate in South Carolina, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pressed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to release his tax returns before Saturday's South Carolina Primary. Perry argued, "Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see how you made your money, and I think that's a fair thing." He continued,
As Republicans, we cannot fire our nominee in September. We need to know now. So I hope you'll put your tax records out there this week so the people of South Carolina can take a look and decide if we've got a flawed candidate or not.
Romney said he would consider releasing his returns in the future. "I have nothing in them that suggests there's any problem and I'm happy to do so. What's happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year and that's probably what I would do." In waiting until April, he could release his most current return for the year 2011. He would also avoid releasing his records before key primaries in South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere, as his rivals run out of time to stop the front-runner. At a press conference Tuesday, Romney defended his decision to wait. He also admitted he "probably" pays a 15 percent rate, lower than most middle class Americans as most of his income comes from capital gains.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pledged to release his returns on Thursday and asserted Romney should release his before Saturday's primary as well. The attacks on Romney's taxes are a part of a larger campaign launch that questions his history at private equity firm Bain Capital and his claims as being a job creator.
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