On Thursday, Reid wouldnt back down.
"Well believe it when we see it, said his spokesman, Adam Jentleson. Until Mitt Romney releases his tax returns, Americans will continue to wonder what hes hiding. Romney seems to think he plays by a different set of rules than every other presidential candidate for the last 30 years, all of whom lived up to the standard of transparency set by Mitt Romneys father and released their tax returns."
When Romneys father, George Romney, was the governor of Michigan and ran for president in 1968, he released 12 years worth of returns.
Reid has refused to release his own tax returns, despite repeated requests from McClatchy.
Romneys comments are the latest chapter in a saga thats kept his presidential campaign on the defensive. President Barack Obamas forces have relentlessly demanded release of the returns, suggesting that Romney is hiding something.
"He has the ability to prove his claim," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. "The American people deserve the opportunity to look through these documents and make their own conclusions. . . . We would say, prove it, Mr. Romney."
Romney didnt explain Thursday why he wont release the returns. His comments came at the end of a news conference where other topics were discussed.
"I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty the fascination with taxes I paid, I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues we now face," he said.
In January, Romney reported owing $6.2 million in federal taxes on $42.5 million in income over the past two years. His campaign released more than 500 pages of documents.
The data showed that Romney had offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and his blind trust maintained a Swiss bank account until 2010.
It revealed that the Romneys had an adjusted gross income of $21.6 million that year and paid about $3 million in taxes. The couple also donated $2.9 million to charitable causes.
Since virtually all their income was from past investments and taxed as capital gains, they had an effective 2010 rate of taxation of 13.9 percent. Last year, Romney earned an estimated $20.9 million, and he expected to pay $3.2 million, for a 15.4 percent rate.Ann Romney, the candidates wife, has defended the decision not to release any more returns.
"We have been very transparent to whats legally required of us, she said in an interview to be broadcast Thursday on NBC. Theres going to be no more tax releases given."
If they release any more information, she said, "it will only give them more ammunition," referring to her husbands political opponents. "Theres nothing were hiding."