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Romney: I've paid at least 13% in taxes

Mitt Romney busting out the white board during a chat with reports in Greer, South Carolina on Thursday.
Mitt Romney busting out the white board during a chat with reports in Greer, South Carolina on Thursday.Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Mitt Romney won't show us his returns from the past decade, but he said he reviewed them again to make sure everything's cool. Everybody go home, nothing to see here?

To help squash nagging rumors over his unreleased tax returns, the Republican presidential nominee claimed Thursday he never paid less than a 13 percent effective tax rate. 

"Given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty, the fascination with the taxes I paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues we face," Romney told reporters at the Greer airport in South Carolina. 

"I did go back and look at my taxes, and, over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13 percent," he said. "Every year, I paid at least 13 percent, and if you add in, in addition, the amount that goes to charity, the number gets well above 20 percent." He made no specific mention of "income taxes."

He also responded to criticism from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who recently suggested Romney paid zilch on his tax returns. "Harry Reid's charge is totally false." said Romney. "I'm sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was who told him what he says they told him. I don't believe him for a minute, by the way."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reacted by saying President Obama believes "the tradition for presidential candidates to put forward multiple years of their tax returns is a useful and valuable one. Not always comfortable."

In a recent interview with NBC's Rock Center, Ann Romney restated the campaign will not budge on the tax returns.

In the very same press conference, Romney busted out a white dry erase board to explain the differences in his Medicare plan verses President Obama.