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Romney To Release Tax Return Tuesday



CNN

After a spirited week of campaigning and debating in South Carolina, all eyes are now on Florida as the GOP presidential candidates prepare for the January 31 primary in the pivotal state.

Also this week, Mitt Romney will release his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 tax liability, the former Massachusetts governor said.

The comment, made in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” was a big change in Romney’s plans for handling an issue that dogged his campaign last week, and followed Saturday’s loss to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary.

Last week, Romney told reporters he would release his tax returns in April and estimated his actual tax rate was close to 15% — the amount charged for capital gains income — because most of his income was from investments.

On Sunday, he acknowledged that strategy didn’t work in response to reporters and rival candidates questioning when Romney — a multimillionaire — would make public his tax details.

“I think we just made a mistake in holding off as long as we did. It was just a distraction,” Romney said.

“I was planning on releasing them in April when they’ve been released by other candidates in the past,” he said. “But you know what, given all the attention that has been focused on tax returns, given the distraction that I think they became in the last couple of weeks … I will release my tax returns for 2010, which is the last returns that were completed.”

Romney added that the tax return, as well as the 2011 estimate, would be posted on the campaign website Tuesday so that “people can take a good look at it.”

Gingrich, who has raised the issue repeatedly, commended Romney when told during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” of the announcement.

“I think it’s exactly the right thing to do,” Gingrich said. “And as far as I’m concerned, that particular issue is now set aside and we can go on and talk about other, bigger, and more important things.”

Democrats also have called for Romney to release his tax returns, hoping it will bolster their efforts to portray him as a wealthy financier out of touch with working Americans.

By succumbing to the growing pressure to release tax return details now, Romney acknowledged the issue hurt his once-soaring campaign as the nominating process shifts to the Florida primary on January 31.

 

Click to watch Mitt Romney on Fox News Sunday