Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's campaign today called on Perry's GOP rival Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, and a political group that supports President Obama's re-election soon followed suit.
"Governor Perry has always released his tax returns and Mitt Romney and the other candidates should do the same," Perry spokesman Mark Miner told Politico.
Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said in a response to Politico that Romney's campaign will "take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season." He added that Perry has disclosure issues of his own -- the Texas governor faces pending lawsuits over his refusal to disclose his travel records.
Perry released his tax returns last week, showing he and his wife made $217,447 in adjusted gross income in 2010 and paid $51,000 in federal taxes.
While Romney hasn't released his tax returns, the Boston Globe reported earlier this year that the former Massachusetts governor's net worth falls between $190 million and $250 million.
Bill Burton, a senior strategist for Priorites USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, said in a statement that he's not surprised that Romney will not release his tax returns.
"When you translate his campaign's statement into what Romney really means, it comes down to this: 'I can't release my tax returns and show how little I paid on the millions I have. I'm running for office for Pete's sake!'," Burton said. (Burton was referencing awhen Romney explained his reaction upon learning several years ago that his landscaping company employed undocumented immingrants: "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals," Romney said.)
Burton added that Romney should release his tax returns immediately -- "before he has time to polish them up for politics. He must be honest with the American people about how much he and his wealthy friends benefit from a tax system that puts an overwhelming burden on hard working Americans."
Should Romney win the GOP nomination, it's likely the Obama camp would continue to skewer the Republican for the overall tax rate he likely pays. Time magazine reported earlier this month that Romney made a large portion of his 2010 income from dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent. That would make Romney a prime example of a wealthy American who'd be hit by Mr. Obama's "Buffett rule," which calls for millionaires to pay the same overall tax rate as middle class taxpayers.
On the campaign trail, Romney has.
According to returns released by the White House,. The Obamas declared a total income of nearly $1.8 million.