Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday said he wasn’t sure if he had ever paid an effective tax rate lower than 13.9 percent, and insisted that he wouldn’t even be qualified to be president if he paid “more than are legally due.”
During an interview in Israel, ABC’s David Muir noted that the candidate had only released two years worth of tax returns and had paid an effective rate of 13.9 percent in one of those years. Some have speculated that Romney may be refusing to release additional tax returns because he paid a substantially lower rate or virtually no taxes at all in previous years.
“Can we clear this up by asking a simple yes or no question?” Muir asked Romney. “Was there ever any year when you paid lower than 13.9 percent?”
“I haven’t calculated that,” Romney replied. “I’m happy to go back and look but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law. From time to time I’ve been audited as happens I think to other citizens as well and the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due.”
“I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president,” he added.
“You said you would go back and look, would you look for us?” Muir pressed.
“I haven’t looked at the tax rate paid year by year,” Romney said, dodging the request. “I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall.”
Watch this video from ABC’s World News, broadcast July 29, 2012.