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Video: Romney babbling tonight about his tax returns

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Here's a rush transcript:

King>> Let me get out of the way for a second and go back out to our audience and take a question from an audience member. Sir.

John>> John from the great city of charleston. Gentlemen, when will you release your tax returns specifically?

Gingrich>> An hour ago.

King>>speaker posted his online an hour ago. Congressman paul, start with you. We reached out to your campaign. They said you will not release your tax returns. Why?

Paul>> Hadn't thought it through. Don't have an intention of doing it. For a different reason. I'd probably be embarrassed to put my financial statement up against their income. I don't want to be embarrassed because I don't have a greater income. Now, I mean, it may come to that. But right now, I have no intention of doing that. I think with our financial statements, congressional financial statements, I think you know more about me than i know about myself. That's how my wife found out so much about what we were doing, you know, from my financial statements. No, we don't need -- I don't think people need that. Because nobody's challenging me because I have no conflict of interests. And I don't even talk to lobbyists. And I don't take that kind of money. So there's no conflicts.

King>> All right. Governor Romney, when will we see yours?

Romney>> When my taxes are complete for this year. And I know if I'm the nominee, the president's going to want to insist that I show what my income was this last year and so forth. When they're completed this year in april, I'll release my returns in april and probably for other years as well. I know that's what's going to come. Every time the Democrats are out there trying their very best to try and attack people because they've been successful. I have been successful. Let me tell you, the challenge in America is not people who have been successful. The challenge in america, and president obama doesn't want to talk about this, is you've got a president who's played 90 rounds of golf while there are 25 million americans out of work. And while the price of gasoline has doubled, he said no to the keystone pipeline. And while we've got $15 trillion in debt, he said, look, I'm going to put another $1 trillion in debt for Obamacare. That's the problem in America. Not the attacks they make on people who have been successful.

King>> Some of the questions about when do you release your taxes, his campaign has raised them, you're right on that. So has some of your rivals up here. Governor Perry made that point as well before he left the race. Why not should the people of South Carolina before this election see last year's return?

Romney>> Because I want to make sure that I beat President Obama. Every time we release things drip by drip, the Democrats go out with another array of abeing attacks. I'll put these out at one time so we have one discussion of all of this. I obviously pay all full taxes. I'm honest in my dealings with people. People understand that. My taxes are carefully managed. I pay a lot of taxes. I've been very successful. When I have our taxes ready for this year, I'll release them.

King>> Speaker, is that good enough?

Gingrich>> He's got to decide. The people of South Carolina have to decide. If there's anything in there that will help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination. If there's nothing in there, why not release it? It's a very simple model. But he's got to decide. It's his decision. Everybody's got to run their own campaign based on what they think is the reasonable risk. I released mine this evening. We also released the little small charitable foundation we have. So people can see what we do.

King>> Senator santorum, when will we see yours?

Santorum>> Well, I do my own taxes. They're on my computer and I'm not home. So -- and there's nobody at home right now till I get home. When I get home, you'll get my x thats. Taxes.

King>> You did call on the governor to release his.

Santorum>> Somebody asked. I said question. I don't think it's a big deal. If governor romney's told what his tax rate is. Mine's higher than that I can assure you. All I know it was very painful writing a check last april. That's all I can tell you.

King>> Governor Romney, you mentioned the Democratic attacks. I want to ask you to go back in history a little bit. Back in 1967, your father set a ground-breaking -- what was then a ground-breaking standard in American politics. He released his tax returns. Not for one year but for 12 years. He said this, one year could be a fluke. Perhaps done for show. When you release yours, will you follow your father's example?

Romney>> Maybe. I don't know how many years I'll release. I'll take a look at what our documents are.

[ Boos / Audience shouting ]

Romney>> and I'll release multiple years. I don't know how many years. I'll be happy to do that. Let me tell you, I know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can't make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. I know the Democrats want to go after the fact I've been successful. I'm not going to apologize for being successful. [ Applause ] I'm not suggesting these people are doing that. But I know the Democrats will go after me on that basis. That's why I want to release these things all at the same time. My dad, as you know, born in Mexico. Poor. Didn't get a college degree. Became head of a car company. I could have stayed in Detroit like him. And gotten pulled up in the car -- I went off on my own. Didn't inherit money from my parents. [Note from JOHN -- this isn't true. Romney inherited money from his family.] What I have, I earned. I worked hard. The american way. [ Applause ] I'm going to be able -- I'm going to be able to talk to President Obama in a way no one else can that's in this race right now about how the free economy works. What it takes to put Americans back to work. Make sure he understands this divisiveness dividing Americans between 99 and 1 is dangerous. We are one nation under God.

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