Following his second-place showing in South Carolina on Saturday, Mitt Romney characterized his performance as the result of a bad week for him and a good week for winner Newt Gingrich.
Citing the controversy over his reluctance to release his tax returns and the Iowa vote count that revealed Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa caucuses, Romney said that he didn’t perform as well as he had hoped in South Carolina, but that “we did a lot better this time than we did four years ago,” when he finished fourth.
“From the beginning we thought it would be an uphill climb here in South Carolina,” he said, speaking on Fox News Sunday.
Romney admitted that his campaign “made a mistake in holding off as long as we did” on his tax returns, and revealed that he’ll be releasing his 2010 returns, as well as an estimate for his 2011 taxes, on Tuesday.
“I pay full and fair taxes, and you’ll see it’s a pretty substantial amount,” he said.
Romney said he didn’t believe his lack of heated rhetoric—which some analysts say is a stark contrast to Gingrich’s aggressive, almost angry, posture this week—hurt him in South Carolina. “I’m not somebody who is angry and mad, but I am very upset about the direction this country is headed," he said.
"We're looking forward to a long campaign," Romney said. "This is a tough process, and that's the way it ought to be."