Campaign: Warren Misspoke On Tax Return Demand
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's campaign said Tuesday that she misspoke when she said Republican Sen. Scott Brown should release 20 years of tax returns.
Brown's campaign accused Warren of "backpedaling and hypocrisy."
Warren made the comments Monday night at an appearance in Worcester to celebrate the opening of a campaign office.
"I think Scott Brown should release his tax returns for all the years he's been in public service," Warren said according to the website GoLocalWorcester.com. "He's been in public service for 20 years, then he should have 20 years of tax returns."
Earlier this year, Brown released six years of tax returns. Warren released four.
A Warren spokeswoman said Tuesday that Warren had been asked a question about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has been criticized for saying he'd release no more than two years of returns.
The aide said Warren believes Romney should release more years, but believes she and Brown have released enough.
"Both Elizabeth and Sen. Brown have released multiple years of tax returns that she believes give voters an understanding of each candidate's financial circumstances," Warren aide Alethea Harney said in a statement.
Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett said Warren "deserves a pair of gold medals for backpedaling and hypocrisy" and renewed the campaign's call for Warren to match Brown and release six years of tax returns.
"In her fumbled attempt to smear Scott Brown, she has only raised new questions about why she continues to hold back tax records requested by the media," Barnett said in a statement. "Scott Brown complied with this request; Elizabeth Warren did not."
In April, both candidates released some of their returns.
Brown made six years of returns available for inspection by journalists at his campaign headquarters at the time, but didn't post them online or allow copies to be removed.
Warren posted four years of abridged returns on her website and allowed journalists to review the returns in their entirety at her headquarters.
According to the returns, Brown and his wife, television reporter Gail Huff, together reported earning more than $2.5 million from 2006-2011. In 2011, the couple's income was reported at $510,856, and Brown paid $123,642 in taxes at an effective rate of 24.2 percent.
Their income rose dramatically after his upset victory in the January 2010 special election to fill the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat, largely due to the $1 million Brown received from a publisher for his memoir "Against All Odds."
Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, both Harvard law professors, reported income totaling nearly $3.4 million over tax years 2008-2011 and paid more than $944,000 in federal taxes during that period.
Their top earning year was 2009, when Warren earned $347,933 and Mann $341,041 from Harvard. Warren also earned $147,468 for consulting and lecturing and was paid $128,433 as chairwoman of a congressional oversight panel for the Wall Street financial bailout.
The couple paid $282,210 in federal taxes in 2009 at an effective rate of 28.8 percent.
It's not the first gaffe of the campaign.
In June, Brown said he'd held secret meetings with "kings and queens" and other top leaders during his time in the U.S. Senate. An aide later said Brown misspoke.
This program aired on August 7, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.