Mitt Romney Says He Will 'Probably' Release Taxes in April

PHOTO: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney
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Amid continued pressure from his rivals to make public his tax returns, Mitt Romney said at a Republican presidential candidates debate tonight that he will "probably" release that information in April.

That timetable is in line with tradition of past nominees, who have released their information around tax day in early April.

"I have nothing in them that suggests there is any problem," he said. "I'm happy to do so."

Romney had said as recently as Wednesday that he doesn't feel the need to do anything more than the law requires him to do, which is reveal his assets.

Rick Perry took the lead in assailing the former Massachusetts governor, accusing him of dodging the question of tax records and called on him to release them before a nominee is decided.

"My income tax have been out every year. Newt [Gingrich], I think you will let your income tax come out Thursday. And Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see how you made your money," the Texas governor said. "Here's the real issue for us as Republicans. We cannot fire our nominee in September. We need to know now."

The other candidates came out swinging at Romney tonight in the 16th debate of this primary season, attacking his leadership at Bain Capital along with his refusal to release tax returns.

Rick Santorum was perhaps Romney's most vocal critic of the evening. He criticized the former governor for not standing up to his super PAC when it ran ads attacking Santorum for giving the right to vote to felons who have served their time.

"If you felt so impassionedly about it that you're going to go out there and have someone criticize me," the former senator said in a testy exchange, "then why didn't you try to change that when you were governor of Massachusetts?"

When Romney responded by dismissing super PACs, the former senator countered: "I would say stop it."

At that point, Perry interjected, "This is a great example of insiders having a conversation here," adding that Washington needs to leave the states alone.

Newt Gingrich also assailed Romney for not countering ads by his super PAC that criticized the speaker's record on abortion.

"Exercise responsibility to take falsehoods off the air," he said.

Romney responded by assailing SuperPACs altogether, saying that he hasn't spoken to the group that supports him in months.

When Rep. Ron Paul was also questioned about his attack ads, particularly against Santorum, the congressman from Texas happily defended them.

"My only regret is I couldn't get in enough in that one minute I had," he said, laughing.

Gingrich attacked the former Massachusetts governor on his record at Bain, and defended his own attack ads in the process.

"It struck me raising those questions, giving me the opportunity to answer them is exactly what campaigns ought to be about," the former House speaker said. "And we need to satisfy the country that whoever we nominate has a record that can stand up to Barack Obama in a very effective way."

Romney, for his part, stood by his record at Bain.

"My record is out there, proud of it," he said.

He also countered Gingrich's claim that he raised taxes as governor, saying that he cut taxes 19 times.

Romney, for his part, kept his focus on the president, attacking his economic and social record and touting his own time as governor and business leader.

"Three years into office, he doesn't have a jobs plan," Romney said of Obama.

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