“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid told Nevada reporters Wednesday. “I have had a number of people tell me that.” But he would not expand on his sources. “I don’t think the burden should be on me,” he said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.”…
[T]his accusation is not an off-hand remark or an accident, or Reid wouldn’t be repeating it so often. He clearly sees an upside in making these claims — whether he has some proof, is trying to goad Romney into releasing the returns, or is just taking advantage of the fact that the Republican won’t prove him wrong.
“I don’t know how you go out there and make a statement like that without any facts,” Boehner said during an appearance on “Kilmeade and Friends.” “It’s one of the problems that occurs here in Washington, people run out there without any facts and just make noise. The American people are too smart for this, they’ll get to the bottom of this, it clearly is not a fact, and I would think that the Senate majority leader would be smart enough to know that.”
How likely is it that the Internal Revenue Service didn’t notice this phenomenon for ten straight years? How likely is it that an IRS employee would open the envelope with the Romneys’ returns, but no check for the amount owed, and shrug their shoulders and move on to the next envelope?
How likely is it that as Romney became more and more prominent as a CEO, as an Olympic organizer, as governor, and as a presidential candidate that no one at the IRS would notice a glaring ten year period where he paid no taxes, even though he presumably would owe some considerable sum?
How plausible do fact-checking organizations finds the notion that when you invest in Bain Capital, the first thing they do is reveal the multi-year personal tax evasion of the CEO? Has any investor ever gotten a chance to look at the tax returns of the CEO of their money management firm?
Brilliantly played. Make the accusation as broad as possible—10 years!—so that Romney will want to demonstrate that Reid (or Reid’s source) is a liar by releasing tax records showing he only paid zero taxes for, say, three years. Reid shrugs, says, “I guess my guy was exaggerating.” Romney’s candidacy takes a huge and possibly fatal hit. Advantage: Obama.
But Romney isn’t falling for it. And now Reid’s getting sloppy, raising the stakes by saying, “I have had a number of people tell me that.” Really? More than one person has told Reid that Romney didn’t pay his taxes for 10 years? No way is anybody going to believe that. Advantage: Romney.
Is Reid acting on his own, or on orders from the Obama campaign? Well, on more than one occasion now the Obama campaign has advanced the “felon” nonsense against Romney, so Reid’s character assault fits with the campaign’s overt tactics. Coming from the campaign of a man who has admitted to committing multiple felonies — Obama’s past hard drug use, specifically — that’s an unwise move. For one thing, it opens the Obama camp to questions of his own past and character. Some particularly aggressive GOP surrogate could swear that they know a guy who used to get his blow from Barry Obama, and using the Reid standard, it’s up to Obama to prove the anonymous allegation false…
And there’s proof that for all his noise and bluster, Harry Reid is among a group of top Democrats who haven’t released their own tax returns. The obvious thing to infer, using Reid’s own standard, is that he hasn’t released his tax returns because he hasn’t been paying any taxes or has something else to hide. Reid used the tax return issue to insist that Romney isn’t fit to hold office at all. Well, Harry, right back atcha. Ditto for Nancy Pelosi and DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, neither of whom have released their own tax returns. Romney can now say “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine” and effectively shut the Democrat leadership up. Harry Reid took the Obama campaign’s ball and sprinted all the way to a touchdown. Too bad he ran the wrong way.
So long as this is the new standard, it should be known that Reid touched me inappropriately when I was a little boy. He’ll undoubtedly deny this should you ask him, but I believe the burden should be on him to prove that he didn’t.