While vetting Paul Ryan, the Republican Party reports they saw multiple years of the V.P. candidate's tax returns. This is done to check there was nothing untoward in them - like not paying taxes - which could somehow come to light during the campaign.
However, thus far their presumptive candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney has only shown the American people most of his 2010 tax return and some of his 2011 return. He has stated he will produce more of his 2011 return, but that that will be all he'll release.
The Republicans declined to specify how many years of Ryan's returns they saw, nor how many years of tax returns they saw of other potential V.P. candidates they vetted; Tim Pawlenty was vetted and recently told ABC News' 'This Week' that he released "a bunch of tax returns" but when pressed he said he could not remember exactly how many years.
The Republican Party told the press that the number of years of tax returns they saw from Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, was "private and confidential." They have not stated how many years of those returns will be released to the public.
Americans and Mitt Romney's tax returns
It may be awkward for the Republicans to release more than 2 years of Ryan returns, given that's all that Romney has released. There has been a clamor, from media and Americans, to see more Romney returns, some wanting 10 more years to make 12 in total, the number established by Romney's father George in his failed bid for the presidency in 1968.
A CNN poll last week has found that 63 percent of Americans feel Romney should release more taxes, that number rising to 67 percent when only those describing themselves as 'independents' are polled. Those results have not convinced Romney to change his mind and Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, called the poll "ridiculous" and said there will be no more returns released.
Former President George W. Bush and his V.P., Dick Cheney, each released 10 years of their tax returns when they ran for office. To date, Vice-President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have each released 12 years of tax returns, including the years they've been in office.