Rick Perry latest to call for more transparency from Romney on tax returns
(CBS News) Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called on Mitt Romney to be as transparent as possible when it comes to his tax returns, joining about a dozen other high-profile Republicans and the Obama campaign in pressuring the presumptive GOP candidate on the issue.
"No matter who you are or what office you are running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background," Perry said to CBS News Austin affiliate KEYE-TV.
To date, Romney has released his 2010 return and an estimate of his 2011 return. He's resisted calls to release more, even as the Obama campaign ratcheted up the pressure Tuesday with an ad that asked, "What is Mitt Romney hiding?"
Perry, who ran against Romney in the Republican presidential primary, has released his tax returns dating to 1992.
After calling for more transparency on the issue of tax returns, Perry quickly pivoted, turning his remarks against President Obama.
"I certainly think it is inappropriate for the president of the United States to not keep his college transcript and his law school transcripts public. He should make those available," he said. "I'm all about transparency."
Perry press secretary Catherine Frazier later told CBS News that the governor wasn't specifically calling on Romney to release any more returns. "The Governor was making a call for broader transparency in general," she said.
That said, Frazier added that "what he said stands."
When asked specifically if Perry believed Romney needed to release more than two years of tax returns, she said, "That is a decision that is going to be up to Mitt Romney."
Also on Tuesday, the prominent conservative magazine the National Review published an editorial calling for Romney to release more returns.
"By drawing out the argument over the returns, Romney is playing into the president's hands," the editorial staff wrote. "He should release them, respond to any attacks they bring, and move on."
While some conservatives say Romney should be more transparent, others have defended his decision to release just two years worth of returns. Earlier Tuesday, for instance, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CBS News that Mr. Obama's request for Romney to release more returns "comes across as hollow."
If anything, it's Mr. Obama who isn't being transparent, Gingrich contended. "This is a president who hasn't even released his undergraduate stuff at Columbia... used executive privilege in Fast and Furious... They're like a lawyer with a bad case," he said.
CBS News political producer Caroline Horn contributed to the report.
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