Sounds solid. Mitt Romney, who’s been running for political office for 20 years now, decided he’d gamble those prospects and risk time in a federal pen for tax evasion in order to save a few million dollars that he doesn’t need.
And he made this decision year after year, for 10 years.
By the way, some random guy on the Internet told me Obama was born in Kenya. Now, do I know that’s true? Well, I’m not certain. But let me just toss it out there.
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.
Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.
“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?
“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”
No surprise that Reid would smear Romney so casually. He specializes in these tactics during presidential campaigns. In 2008, he made more noise about McCain’s temper being a sign of possible derangement than any other major Democrat. (He also insisted that he couldn’t stand McCain as part and parcel of the demonization effort, even though the two had been known to socialize.) He’s an unusually nasty character, even by normal political standards, when he wants to be; gratuitously accusing George Romney of being disappointed in his son is simply S.O.P. But he does have a strategy here: Pull an accusation of criminality straight out of his ass and hope it gets enough media play that Romney feels obliged to respond. Either Mitt will start to sweat and release his returns, as Democrats have demanded, in order to disprove Reid’s charge or he’ll sit tight and the smear will circulate online, with Romney’s refusal to disclose the documents taken as “proof” that Reid is right. In that respect, it’s not that different from Birtherism. It just so happens that you’ve got the Senate majority leader pushing this, not some commenter at dKos or wherever.
Exit question via Philip Klein: “How would ‘a person who had invested with Bain Capital’ know about Romney’s personal tax returns anyway?”