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Mitt Romney sounds off on Trump taxes during GOP debate

Former Governor Mitt Romney. Essdras M Suarez/Globe staff/FILE 2008/Boston Globe

Mitt Romney came out on the offensive Thursday night during the Republican presidential primary debate.

On Twitter, Romney once again challenged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

“Methinks the Donald doth protest too much,” the former Massachusetts governor wrote on his official Twitter account. “Show voters your back taxes, @realDonaldTrump.”

He ended the tweet with the hashtag, #WhatIsHeHiding.

Trump said he was not releasing his returns because he is being audited, and Romney fired back again on Twitter, telling Trump to release earlier returns no longer under audit and reassuring his followers that there are “more #bombshells” in Trump’s tax paperwork.

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“No legit reason @realDonaldTrump can’t release returns while being audited,” wrote Romney, “but if scared, release earlier returns no longer under audit.”

Trump attacked Romney during Thursday’s debate, saying, “Mitt Romney looked like a fool when he delayed and delayed and delayed.”

Trump then went on the defensive, saying, “As far as my return, I want to file it except . . . I can’t do it until the audit is finished.”

This is Romney’s latest attack on Trump, who has won three out of the first four contests in the Republican nomination contest.

Romney on Wednesday joined the 2016 campaign fray by aggressively criticizing Trump for not releasing his returns during an interview on Fox News.

“I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Romney said. “I think there is something there. Either he is not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the vets or the disabled like he has been telling us he’s been doing.”

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Trump quickly responded on Wednesday, ridiculing Romney — whom he endorsed in 2012 in a gold-studded event at Trump Tower in Las Vegas — and calling him a loser.

“Mitt Romney, who totally blew an election that should have been won and whose tax returns made him look like a fool, is now playing tough guy,” Trump wrote on Twitter. Then, he added: “When Mitt Romney asked me for my endorsement last time around, he was so awkward and goofy that we all should have known he could not win!”

Read Mitt Romney’s most recent tweets below:


Aimee Ortiz can be reached at aimee.ortiz@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.