WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain's wife, Cindy, released her 2006 tax return under pressure on Friday, showing she paid $1.7 million in taxes on about $6 million in income.
Cindy McCain, the wealthy heiress of a large Arizona beer distributorship, had come under attack for refusing to release her returns. Critics said it raised questions about her husband's commitment to transparency in government.
She said earlier this month she would not release the records even if she became first lady, citing privacy concerns. The couple, married in 1980, keep their finances separate and file separate returns.
McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, released the last two years of his taxes last month. The surprise release of his wife's tax information came hours after McCain, 71, let reporters in Arizona look at his medical records.
His campaign made public only the first two pages summarizing Cindy McCain's 2006 return. She listed itemized deductions of nearly $570,000, with about $4.5 million in income from partnerships, trusts and rental real estate, and more than $743,000 income from capital gains -- but no details.
The campaign said she received an extension on her 2007 tax returns and would make those public when they are filed.
Some Democrats and newspaper editorial boards had criticized Cindy McCain, noting her refusal to release her returns was at odds with her husband's reputation for advocating open government.
Democrats said releasing two pages summarizing one year of returns did not go far enough.
"It is laughable for the campaign to release so little information and say they are being transparent," Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said. "This is another indication that John McCain is not serious when he says he wants to run a transparent campaign."
The 2006 and 2007 returns for McCain, 71, an Arizona senator, showed he had taxable income of $474,104 in those two years combined from his Senate salary, book royalties, a Navy pension and Social Security income. He paid $157,231 in federal income taxes for the two years.
Democratic candidates Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, and Hillary Clinton, a New York senator, released their joint returns with their spouses earlier this year.
Presidential candidates often release their tax returns, but they are not required to do so.
As senators, John McCain, Obama and Clinton are required only to file disclosure statements that give a wide range of income and provide few details on finances and holdings.
In 2004, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wealthy wife of Democratic nominee John Kerry, refused initially to release her returns but eventually did so under pressure.
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)