After Mitt Romney told Harry Reid to “put up or shut up” about allegations of income-tax evasion, Reid chose this morning to … do neither. Instead, Reid released a statement late yesterday essentially tripling down on his evidence-free accusations, and again insisted that Romney had to prove himself innocent:
As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years. People who make as much money as Mitt Romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes. We already know that Romney has exploited many of these loopholes, stashing his money in secret, overseas accounts in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
Last weekend, Governor Romney promised that he would check his tax returns and let the American people know whether he ever paid a rate lower than 13.9 percent. One day later, his campaign raced to say he had no intention of putting out any further information.
When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.
It’s clear Romney is hiding something, and the American people deserve to know what it is. Whatever Romney’s hiding probably speaks volumes about how he would approach issues that directly impact middle-class families, like tax reform and the economy. When you are running for president, you should be an open book.
I understand Romney is concerned that many people, Democrats and Republicans, have been calling on him to release his tax returns. He has so far refused. There is only one thing he can do to clear this up, and that’s release his tax returns.
Note, please, that we seem to be back to one source for this information — “an extremely credible source,” but Reid did not use a plural. Earlier in the week, Reid claimed to have “a number of sources,” and that “the word is out.” So which is it? One extremely credible source from Bain who somehow got to look at Romney’s personal taxes for a ten-year period even though no one would have access to that except the Romneys, their accountant, and the IRS? Or a number of sources who say “the word is out”? Reid’s sounding more and more like Joe McCarthy every day.
Reid, who also refuses to release his own tax returns, isn’t just a hypocrite and a slanderer. He’s also a political idiot. Until these attacks, Romney was on the defensive over his tax returns. Now Romney can paint his decision to keep them private as a principled stand against unscrupulous opponents. Reid has handed the high ground to Romney in this fight with his scurrilous lies. Reid has all but ruined Obama’s strategy of making Romney look secretive and weird.
Investors Business Daily editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez agrees that the word is out on Reid:
Andrew Malcolm wants to probe Reid’s brain, too:
Have you heard about a mysterious phone call from one of Happy Harry Reid’s political cronies from the mortifying days in 1974 when Paul Laxalt waxed him for the Nevada Senate seat that changed the course of Reid’s life forever?
It’s a pretty shocking story, and one that the powerful Democrat has understandably never explained through all these years. It’s haunted him though, through those early devastating political losses for the Senate and the Las Vegas mayor’s office, the defeats that turned him into the bitter, cynical political mumbler he’s become at age 72.
This troubling tale has haunted Harry Reid through the shadowy years he ran the Nevada Gaming Commission, through his public embarrassment over the Los Angeles Times investigation into his son and son-in-law’s Washington lobbying activities,the ethics investigation into the free tickets Reid happily accepted to boxing matches and the successful land development deal that ended up netting Reid $1 million when he sold it, in an amazing coincidence, to a friend and it became a shopping center.
And through all these years, Harry Reid has never bothered to deny that awful early story. Just as he’s never denied any early involvement with left-wing South American political parties and an unsuccessful 1964 bid to become a Goldwater Girl.
I remember that LA Times investigation well. It explained at least in part how Reid got to be so wealthy while working in public office. Maybe we can start asking Reid about that, because the LA Times actually did have a number of credible sources, as well as documentation from the public record.