It looks like it will take more than a trip abroad and the Olympic Games to keep the spotlight from shining on Mitt Romney’s tax returns.
In excerpts released by ABC News, Romney was unable to say whether he had ever paid less than the 13.9% tax rate he paid in 2010. “I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look, but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law,” Romney told ABC’s David Muir.
Romney’s 13.9% rate falls far below rates typically applied to those with incomes approaching the $20.1 million he made in 2010.
“I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes, and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall,” he later added.
Under continued questioning from Muir, Romney admitted that he hasn’t looked at his yearly tax rate, but insisted that he remained confident that “the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job.”
Romney in recent weeks has faced growing pressure to release more than his 2010 returns and an estimate for 2011. But the former Massachusetts governor has remained steadfast in refusing to reveal any more of his financial records.
“Those are the two years that people are going to have. And that’s all that’s necessary for people to understand about my finances,” Romney told CNN earlier this month.
But a majority of Americans believe that those two years aren’t enough, according to recent polls. Democrats in Congress have gone so far as to call for legislation requiring that presidential candidates divulge at least 10 years of returns. Adding to Romney’s tax troubles is the fact his father, George, released 12 years of returns during his own presidential campaign in 1968.
President Obama’s campaign quickly jumped on Romney’s remarks.
“Since he is ‘happy’ to go back and look at his previous returns, he should release them for the American people to see,” the campaign said in a statement.
Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, has released 12 years of tax returns. In his most recent returns, Obama paid a rate of 23.4% on a gross income of $789,674.
The full interview with Romney will air on ABC News’ “World News” tonight.