Mitt Romney Tax Returns: Did He Pay More Than He Had To?

David Kerley investigates the ongoing campaign issue over Romney's taxes.
3:00 | 09/22/12

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Transcript for Mitt Romney Tax Returns: Did He Pay More Than He Had To?
It's "your voice, your vote." And with just 45 days until the presidential election, romney's tax returns are raising an interesting question. Why did he pay more than he had to? David kerley is on the story in washington this morning. Good morning to you. Reporter: The romney campaign had hoped to quiet all the critics with the release of this second year of taxes. The question is will it work? Instead, the controversy has been re-ignited. Is mr. Romney actually making himself disqualified for president? Mitt romney was in vegas when he revealed last year's taxes. Income of $13.7 million, nearly all from selling stocks and dividends. Taxes paid, just less than $2 million, a tax rate of just over 14%. But to get to that rate, romney had to do something he told us he doesn't do. I don't pay more than are legally due. And if I had paid more, than are legally due, I don't think I'd be qualified to become president. Reporter: But last year, he did exactly that. Paying an extra $500,000 in taxes he didn't owe. Why? So he could stick to his statement that he's never paid less than a 13% tax rate. He did it by claiming just a bit more than half of the $4 million given to charity, the mormon church, and the health care foundation. His campaign also claims romney paid state and federal taxes for the past 20 years. But it will not release anything beyond two years of actual returns. But they did also release a medical report. Romney, according to his doctor is a, quote, vigorous, strong, fit male, who appears years younger than his age. And doesn't drink or use welcome to coe. The governor does take cholesterol medication and has a slow heartbeat. As for the vice presidential candidate, paul ryan, his doctor says his health is excellent because of his vigorous aerobic and strength-building exercises. Hey, everybody. How are u? Reporter: But ryan's psyche may have taken a hit when he spoke to the aarp. And found himself booed when he tried to sell his changes for medicare. The first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care. It represents the worst of both worlds. Reporter: It was a tough speech for ryan. Back to romney's taxes. If he had claimed all the deductions available to him, his tax rate would have been just over 10%. Bianna? All right, david. For more analysis, we're joined by john avlon, senior correspondent for the daily beast. Back in july, romney said he never paid less than 13%. This tax return proves that. Is this case closed now? The romney campaign wants to put this behind them. But the issue was fading from view. Now, it's back on the front pages. They had a lousy week. They figured they'd double down and get it all out there. But the real issue becomes this 14% rate on $14 million. That's so much less than what many middle class folks make as a percentage of their income and a tax rate. That does raise issues. We're about this big fight of 35 or 39 at the top right. And mitt romney is paying 14%, that's a fundamental problem that slaps people not adding up. His campaign wants to turn the conversation to the u.S. Economy. 45 days left in this campaign. What does he need to do? He needs to stop having a lot of self-inflicted wounds. He's had a lousy week. Two resets, both by self-inflicted wounds. He has a strong case to make by focusing on hope and change that hasn't panned out. Focusing on the economy that hasn't worked. But he has to stop to have self-inflicted wounds. And the debates in october. The trend has not been his friend. But he's very close in a couple of key states. And president obama didn't go unscathed this week. The romney campaign pouncing on a statement he made, that you can't fix washington from the inside. How much traction is that going to get in. The univision did provide a couple of key opportunities for the romney campaign. That's one. If president obama has failed to change the tone in washington, give us a chance. What would you do differently? That created a real opening for that debate. But they needed to seize it with positive, proactive plans. A very close race ahead. John, thanks for coming on. Be sure to watch abc's "this week" tomorrow, when george talks to david axelrod, and ryan priebus.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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