Mitt Romney never intended that the contributions he and his wife made to their church would become known when he disclosed financial information as the presumptive GOP nominee, he says, citing the disclosure of "personal" information as the reason behind his reluctance to release more.

"Our church doesn't publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately," Romney said in an interview with Parade magazine, to be published Sunday. "One of the downsides of releasing one's financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It's a very personal thing between ourselves and our church."

Romney has been reluctant to release financial information throughout his political career. In the presidential election, his financial disclosures have been scanter than his rivals or recent presidential hopefuls. He has only released one -- by some accounts, incomplete -- year of tax returns, for 2010, and has pledged to release a second, for 2011, before the election (so far, he has released a summary). President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have released twelve years of tax returns each. Since the 1980 election, only Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) released two years of returns, while all other major party candidates released at least five.

Romney has refused to release more years of tax returns despite bipartisan calls for him to do so. His father, when running for president in 1968, released 12 years of tax returns. His father was also, of course, a Mormon.

Romney's 2010 tax return revealed that he will give $4.13 million over two years of $43 million in income. In addition, he and his wife have given over $4.7 million to the church over ten years through the Tyler Charitable Foundation, a multimillion dollar trust created by the Romneys.

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  • Ron Paul

    "Politically, I think that would help him," Paul said in a interview with <a href="" target="_hplink">Politico</a>. "In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want."

  • Richard Lugar

    "I have no idea on why he has restricted the number to this point," <a href="" target="_hplink">Lugar said</a>.

  • George Will

    "I don't know why... he didn't get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest," Will said on ABC's "<a href="" target="_hplink">This Week</a>." "He's done nothing illegal, nothing unseemly, nothing improper, but lots that's impolitic."

  • Bill Kristol

    "He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "<a href="" target="_hplink">Fox News Sunday</a>." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."

  • Robert Bentley

    "I just believe in total transparency," Bentley told <a href="" target="_hplink">ABC News</a>. "In fact, I was asked today that question -- do you think that Governor Romney should release his tax returns? And I said I do. I said, I release my tax returns. I may be the only public official in Alabama that does, but I release mine every year and I just believe that people should release their tax returns. And if you get them out and just get past that, it just makes it so much easier."

  • Haley Barbour

    When asked on "<a href="" target="_hplink">The Situation Room</a>" if Romney should release more returns, Barbour said, "I would. But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly."

  • Michael Steele

    "If there's nothing there, there's no 'there' there, don't create a there,'" Steele said on MSNBC.

  • David Frum

    "Tax returns the next problem. Releasing returns under pressure: more weakness, more pain," Frum <a href="" target="_hplink">tweeted</a>.