MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum on Monday in calling on front-runner Mitt Romney to release his income tax returns during the election, warning that the country can’t afford any potentially unpleasant revelations about Romney come fall.
“My taxes, Anita and I put out our taxes every year since back in the '80s. And every candidate up there, they should put their taxes out, including Mitt,” Perry said at a town hall hosted by GOP operative Frank Luntz. “September and October is not the time for us to be finding out that whoops, there’s something out there that is a problem. We need to know it now.”
Gingrich has repeatedly called on Romney to release his tax returns in recent days, as has Santorum. It’s not the first time Perry has asked the wealthy candidate to be more transparent about his personal finances -- he called for Romney to release his tax returns in late October -- but it’s an issue he hasn’t brought up on the trail for months.
Romney has repeatedly said he has complied with legal obligations on disclosing his wealth, saying that he might release his returns in the future.
Luntz and the other participants spent a great deal of time probing Perry’s relationship with both God and his wife, Anita, who joined him on stage. The two both reflected on how their faith has strengthened during the campaign.
“I tell people I said God didn’t say, 'I want you running,''' Pery said. He joked, a minute later, “He sure didn’t tell me I was going to win.”
The audience, comprised heavily of women since it was partially run by CaféMoms, an online community for mothers, seemed moved by the story of the Perry’s 29-year marriage, which included a 16-year courtship.
And it was clear that Anita Perry, who is often credited with convincing Perry to pursue the presidency and stay in the race after a disappointing Iowa finish, is still the rock at his side. “I mean if I just had to walk away from all this if she was walking with me, it would all be OK,” Perry said.