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Chris Christie: Mitt Romney Should Release Tax Returns Immediately

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CHRIS CHRISTIE MITT ROMNEY
(AP Photo/Mel Evans) | AP

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Chris Christie is urging political ally Mitt Romney to immediately release his tax returns rather than waiting until April.

The New Jersey governor told NBC's "Today" show Romney should "put them out sooner than later because it's always better to have full disclosure."

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Christie expanded on the tax returns issue. "I've released all of my tax returns, and I did it during the campaign," he said. "I think that's the right way to go and that's what I'd tell Gov. Romney to do. He says going to release them in April--I'd hope he does."

He said that it's not a "great shock" that Romney says he pays about a 15 percent tax rate, since he hasn't earned a salary in a long time. "Let's get all the facts out there, see what the tax returns say, and everyone will probably know that this story is much ado about nothing," said Christie.

Romney's taxes have emerged as an issue days before the South Carolina primary. He agreed in Monday night's debate to consider making his tax returns public, and then committed to releasing them on Tuesday. But the multi-millionaire candidate now is 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. Christie says he wants to remain as governor, but he wouldn't rule out joining a Romney ticket.

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