Rick Santorum to Release Tax Returns

Jan 25, 2012 1:02pm
gty rick santorum jef 110601 wblog Rick Santorum to Release Tax Returns
(Image Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

NAPLES, Fla. – Rick Santorum will follow Mitt Romney’s lead and unveil his tax returns, telling reporters Wednesday that he would head home over the weekend to gather and prepare his tax documents for release.

“Frankly, I’ve got to get home because everybody’s asking for my tax returns,” Santorum said, speaking outside an event at the First Baptist Church that drew slightly more than 1,000  people – his largest turnout yet in Florida. “I’ve got to get these tax returns, so everybody gets what they’ve been asking for.”

Asked what he expected his tax returns to  reveal, Santorum raised his hand to his mouth and let out a fake yawn.

Santorum did not respond to questions regarding the number of years he planned to release, nor did he offer a date for the release.

Santorum, who walked into the First Baptist sanctuary as “Hail to the Chief” played, emphasized  the importance of family in rebuilding the country and the economy, and touted the emphasis he’d placed on manufacturing, citing the focus on blue collar workers in President Obama’s State of the Union address as evidence that Santorum  should be the Republican nominee.

“I was very excited [by]  the president’s speech last night … because the president of the United States made the case for Rick Santorum for being the nominee of the Republican Party,” said Santorum to applause.

Santorum banked on the support of evangelicals and social conservatives to lift him to a first-place finish in Iowa earlier this month, and said he remained undeterred by Newt Gingrich’s capitalizing on that vote in the South Carolina primary.

“I think a lot of folks wanted to stop Mitt Romney, and I know a lot of folks out there  said, ‘We really like you actually better, but Newt is in a position to stop Romney,’ and that was the most important thing for them, and so that dynamic will change as we go forward,” Santorum told reporters. “People are going to continue to rise and fall, and we feel very comfortable that in the end, just like we did in Iowa, that we’ll rise at the right time.”

Asked how he expected to win  in Florida, a state whose delegates are awarded on a winner-take-all basis and whose diversity and mere size can pose a challenge, Santorum said: “You’ve got a big state like Florida, which is very expensive but there are other states where a more surgical approach is going to be successful, and there are 50 states and there are all different ways to get the delegates you need to be able to win the convention, and we’re working on a strategy to get us there.”

Santorum leaves Florida, a state he’s criss-crossed in what he described as “a little plane” with a “cheap charter,” on Thursday  for a fundraiser in Virginia Wednesday evening. He’ll be in Florida again Thursday and Friday before he returns home  to Pennsylvania for a fundraiser – and as he said, to prepare his taxes — Saturday. Santorum returns to the Sunshine State Sunday but has no definitive plans after that, and even dodged questions about whether he’d be in the state on primary night, Jan. 31.

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