WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's campaign sought to intensify pressure on Mitt Romney to show how much he pays in taxes, offering the Republican challenger a deal Friday: If he releases five years of tax returns, Obama's team won't criticize him for not releasing any more.
The Romney team swiftly rejected the offer.
The Obama campaign has made Romney's taxes a focus of its attack strategy as economic issues -- and the growing gap in the U.S. between the rich and poor -- dominate a tight race toward the November election.
Releasing several years of tax returns has become a standard in recent presidential elections, but Romney, a multimillionaire former CEO, has said his critics would distort the tax information and use it against him.
"It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Gov. Romney's tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters," said Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades.
Obama's campaign has questioned whether there are years when Romney paid no taxes.
Romney said Thursday he has paid at least 13 per cent of his income in federal taxes every year for the past decade.
On average, middle-income families, those making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year, pay 12.8 per cent of their income in federal taxes, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
In 2010 and 2011, Romney made about $21 million a year.
-- The Associated Press