Santorum leaving trail to get his tax returns

CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 21: Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at his primary-night event on January 21, 2012 in Mark Clark Hall at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took first place in the South Carolina Primary, with Santorum placing third. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

NAPLES, Fla. -- Even as he fends off the notion that it's a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for the GOP presidential nomination, Rick Santorum said Wednesday he'll be taking a few days off from campaigning in Florida.

Speaking to reporters on his way out of a rally at the First Baptist Church, Santorum said he's scheduled to fly home to Pennsylvania on Saturday for fundraisers and to prepare his tax returns for public release. Romney, the frontrunner, released his returns earlier this week.

"Frankly, I've got to get home because everybody's asking me for my tax returns, so I've got to get home and get my tax returns," Santorum said. "I want to get that out there and behind me so I'm not the guy who's not doing their taxes." Asked what to expect from his tax returns, Santorum mimicked a dramatic "yawn."

The former Pennsylvania senator has said he may move into other upcoming primary states like Nevada, Colorado, and Minnesota before Florida's Jan. 31 primary, which is a winner-take-all process. But Santorum brushed off a question Wednesday about how to overcome general perception that he's no longer part of the two-man race.

"I've been asked that question for about nine months, and every time it was a two-man race it was two different people, and here we are again," he said. "The media just likes to keep it simple ... because you have trouble handling the idea that this race is dynamic, that it's constantly changing.

"Newt Gingrich two weeks ago was finishing fourth and fifth, and he was being asked `Why don't you get out of the race?'" Santorum continued. "Now all of a sudden, because he wins a primary now, 'Oh it's somebody else's time to get out of there.' This race is going to change a lot, and it's going to continue to be dynamic."

  • Lindsey Boerma On Twitter»

    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.

Comments