Mitt Romney has indicated he will release his tax returns—but only after he has clinched the Republican nomination.
Using the phrase "if I become our nominee," Romney said at Monday night's debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., that he has researched what past nominees have done with tax returns. "What's happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year and that's probably what I would do," he said.
The Republican presidential race is likely to be decided by April.
The Republican front-runner spoke after Rick Perry joined GOP opponents Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in calling on Romney to release his returns so that "people of this country can see how you made your money."
"I hope you'll put your tax records out there this week so the people of South Carolina can take a look and decide if, you know, we've got a flawed candidate or not," Perry said.
President Obama's campaign has also said it wants to see Romney's taxes.
Here's what Romney said about the tax issue:
You know, I looked at what has been done in campaigns in the past with Senator (John) McCain and President George W. Bush and others. They have tended to release tax records in April or tax season.
I hadn't planned on releasing tax records because the law requires us to release all of our assets, all the things we own. That I have already released. It's a pretty full disclosure. But, you know, if that's been the tradition and I'm not opposed to doing that, time will tell.
But I anticipate that most likely I am going to get asked to do that around the April time period and I'll keep that open.
QUESTION: Governor, you will plan then to release your income tax records around April?
ROMNEY: I think I've heard enough from folks saying, look, let's see your tax records. I have nothing in them that suggests there's any problem and I'm happy to do so. I sort of feel like we are showing a lot of exposure at this point. And if I become our nominee, and what's happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year and that's probably what I would do.
This story first appeared in USA Today.