, MYRTLE BEACH, Jan 17 – Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney said on Monday he might release his tax records later in the year, under pressure from his fellow candidates, but resisted promising he would.
“If I become our nominee, and what’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year, and that’s probably what I would do,” Romney said at a debate among Republican rivals seeking their party’s nod to run against Democratic President Barack Obama.
Rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, as well as Obama, have called on Romney to release his income tax records.
“I anticipate that most likely I am going to get asked to do that around the April time period,” Romney said, referring to US tax day.
“I’ll keep that open,” he said of whether he would indeed do so.
The Republican candidates were vying on Monday for support in South Carolina ahead of Saturday’s key Republican primary in the state.
His private business record has come under in recent weeks, including Romney’s former firm Bain Capital, for culling jobs, and candidates behind him in the polls are hoping to expose any cracks in the former Massachusetts governor’s past.
Romney maintains his history as a corporate turnaround wizard who helped establish brands like the Staples office supply store, fit him perfectly to reboot the crashed US economy and create jobs.
But for the Obama campaign, Romney’s past seems a perfect match for the president’s narrative that Wall Street’s greed-laced rampage deprived the middle class of a “fair shake” at the American Dream, and have relished his fellow hopefuls jump on him to release his tax records.