Reid’s original claim, of course, wasn’t that Romney was “hiding something” but that a Bain investor had told him Romney hadn’t paid income tax at all for 10 years. We found out a few hours ago that that’s not true if your 10-year window includes 2011, and if you believe PricewaterhouseCoopers, it’s not true for the period from 1990-2009, when he paid an average annual effective rate of 20.2 percent.
Time for an apology, or time to move the goalposts? Longtime Reid-watchers know the answer. From a Las Vegas Sun reporter:
Reid on Romney deciding to release 2011 returns: "He's hiding something. He's hiding something! It is so evident he's hiding something!"
— Anjeanette Damon (@AnjeanetteDamon) September 21, 2012
Still waiting on a full report from the Sun but evidently that’s the crux of Reid’s reponse to the revelations that Romney’s (a) quite generous in his charitable giving and, (b) unlike the vast, vast majority of cheap liberal class-warrior frauds out there, willing to pay even more federal tax than he’s legally obligated to. No word yet on whether he’s angry at that “Bain investor” for lying to him either, but maybe the Sun’s story will have that too.
Meanwhile, speaking of goalpost-moving, the meme du jour on the left as I write this is that, by paying more than he owed, Romney’s disqualified from the presidency by his own standards. He told an ABC reporter in July, “I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.” That was a silly overstatement, especially when he knew or should have known that he’d overpaid just this past year, but of course the only reason the left is even pretending to care about it is because they need to salvage something from the wreck of their “he’s hiding something! he’s hiding something!” narrative about the returns. On that note, enjoy this clip via Mediaite from MSNBC this afternoon of S.E. Cupp trying to contain her irritation as the official liberal damage-control talking points are unspooled in front of her. Imagine sitting in that chair every day and having to watch the DNC’s spin-sausage being made. Every day.
Exit question: Why didn’t Romney release the 2011 returns months ago? Someone made the point earlier on Twitter that the lead story on the Sunday shows probably would have been O’s Libya security failure; now, quite possibly, it’ll be this.