Ron Paul: Romney should release more tax returns

COLLEGE PARK, MD - MARCH 28: Republican Presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks during a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland on March 28, 2012 in College Park, Maryland. Paul is trailing his opponents in what has become a race for delegates until the Republican National Convention.
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images
Ron Paul
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Updated: 2:09 p.m.

(CBS News) With pressure building on Mitt Romney to release more of his past tax returns, Ron Paul on Tuesday added his voice to the chorus of people - including some Republicans - who say Romney should just bite the bullet and release the returns, according to Politico

"Politically, I think that would help him," said Paul, Romney's former Republican presidential rival, in an interview with Politico. "In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want."

Democrats and the Obama campaign have relentlessly hammered Romney in recent days for his decision to make public just two years' worth of returns in the lead-up to November's election, collectively releasing a slew of campaign videos Tuesday questioning Romney's motives.

"Romney admits that over the last two years he's paid less than 15 percent in taxes on $43 million in income," a narrator intones in a new ad from the Obama campaign. "Makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all." 

An ad from the DNC released Tuesday also suggested that the content of Romney's tax returns -- many of which John McCain had access to when he was vetting Romney to be his running mate -- were so damaging that it dissuaded McCain from choosing him as his VP.

McCain dismissed that notion Tuesday, telling Politico that Palin was merely a "better candidate."

Asked if the Romney's tax history had disqualified him from the running, McCain said "of course not."

"I don't know what depths these people won't reach. Obviously, it's just outrageous. That's just outrageous. It shows the - it's so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of," he said in the Politico interview. "We thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate."

The Obama campaign was quick to seize on Paul's remarks Tuesday, blasting the Politico article out in a mass email.

Paul is not the only Republican politician to urge Romney to reconsider his position- former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is among them - but the former Massachusetts governor suggested Tuesday he had no plans to change course.

"My tax returns that have already been released number into the hundreds of pages. And we will be releasing tax returns for the most current year as soon as those are prepared," he told the National Review in a Tuesday interview. "In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy. And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about."