WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney's promise to release his 2011 tax return in April follows the practice of leading presidential candidates that began after the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. If history is any lesson, questions and criticism will continue long afterward.
For more than three decades, the major party nominees have released their income tax records. Some offered one year and others more than 10 years of returns.
The same has been true for vice presidential candidates, except for Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas when he joined President Gerald Ford on the GOP ticket in 1976.
Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan broke his longstanding rule of keeping his personal finances private in July 1980 when he released his 23-page 1979 income tax return weeks before accepting the GOP nomination.
Romney has been on the defensive after acknowledging that his effective tax rate is 15 percent, saying most of his income came from investments and speeches rather than earned income.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)