Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz released summary pages of their recent tax filings on Saturday, seeking to capitalize on GOP front-runner Donald Trump's refusal to release similar information.
Despite making promises to release his tax records, Trump has balked at doing so, saying he won't disclose the filings until the IRS finishes auditing his returns.
"We're putting these out today to put pressure on Trump and the other candidates to release theirs," said Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Conant.
Cruz, meanwhile, speculated that there could be "a number of bombshells" in Trump's tax returns, from exaggerations about the celebrity businessman's earnings to "significant contributions to Planned Parenthood."
The two candidates now pressing Trump have not released their complete tax returns, as Mitt Romney did in 2012 and Hillary Clinton did last year. Both Rubio and Cruz produced the first two pages of their filings to the Internal Revenue Service, which don't include key details about subjects such as their tax deductions.
Both Cruz and Rubio have left the door open to releasing more information, with Cruz essentially daring his opponents to go first.
If Marco wants to release the complete thing for the recent years, I'm happy to do so as well," Cruz said. But he reserved his sharpest comments for Trump, calling the front-runner's delay "unprecedented in presidential politics."
Every major party candidate since 1976 has released his full tax returns at some point during the campaign, according to Joseph Thorndike, a tax historian and contributing editor to Tax Notes, an accounting trade publication.
But while Thorndike faulted Trump for backing away from releasing his tax returns, he called partial releases such as those by Rubio and Cruz "fake transparency."
"If you're going to release your tax return, you need to release your tax return," he said, calling such disclosure a rite of passage for candidates.