Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich squared off in a lively debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday night as the two leading Republican Presidential candidates traded charges over finances and other issues.
Meanwhile, news organizations have been uncovering discrepancies between the two candidates’ tax returns and financial disclosure forms. In Romney’s case, the Los Angeles Times reported that he failed to list or provided conflicting information on a now-closed Swiss bank account in his wife’s blind trust, and funds based in the low-tax countries of the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Luxembourg.
At the CNN debate on Thursday night, Romney argued with Gingrich that he had reported and paid taxes on all of his foreign holdings. The Romney campaign has promised to amend his financial disclosure forms to account for the discrepancies with his tax returns.
Even though his 2010 tax return indicated he paid just 13.9 percent in taxes, Romney claimed he had paid 40 percent of his income in combined charitable contributions and taxes. He also defended his wealth. “I’m proud of being successful,” he said.
Gingrich, according to the Associated Press, is facing new questions raised by his tax returns on the sources of his income. Much of the money is lumped together under his company, Gingrich Holdings. However, Gingrich has earned money from speaking fees, consulting, books and videos, and as a commentator for Fox News. Romney has also accused Gingrich of acting as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, but Gingrich has strenuously denied charges of acting as a lobbyist. He said he acted as an advisor to the government-sponsored mortgage giant.