(Newsroom America) -- The Obama campaign took a new tact with regard to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney over his tax returns, offering to refrain from criticizing his transparency on the issue if he would release just five years' worth of returns.
Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, offered the deal in a letter to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, reports said Friday. The offer comes a day after Romney said during an interview that he's "never paid less than 13 percent" in the past 10 years.
In pressing for the returns, Messina said he wanted to offer "assurances" that Democrats would not press for more than the five years' worth of returns.
"So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more -- neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign," wrote Messina wrote.
Notably, Messina did not offer to refrain from criticizing information contained in the returns, Fox News reported.
While speaking to reporters outside a South Carolina airport, Romney offered his most complete answer to date about his taxes.
"I did go back and look at my taxes," Romney said. "And over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 (percent) or something like that."
Democrats have pounded Romney over the issue, trying to paint him as a wealthy, out-of-touch elitist who can't relate to the Middle Class.
On the floor of the Senate - where he has immunity - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, citing an unnamed source, even alleged that Romney paid no taxes at all over the last 10 years, even intimating he may have committed a felony.
Romney criticized Reid's accusation, calling it "totally baseless."
© 2012 Newsroom America.