As Mitt Romney hits back on attacks by Democrats over not releasing his tax returns, he has found himself off message and on his heels, specifically sharply worded accusations from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“The other day, I said that I’d been told by a very credible source that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years. Gov. Romney got upset. But, you know what? I’m not backing down,” Reid wrote in an email to supporters. “I’m not backing down because, when you run for president, you should be an open book. I’m not backing down because Mitt Romney is hiding something — and the American people deserve to know what it is.”
Many, including some Democrats, found this accusation to be both unfounded and unnecessary. However, if the goal was to prompt a response from the Romney camp, then it was successful as they shot right back.
“Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up, all right?” Romney said when reporters asked about Reid’s allegation. “So Harry, who are your sources? Let’s have Harry explain who that is. And by the way, Harry, I understand what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to deflect the fact the jobs numbers are bad, that Americans are out of work, and you’re trying to throw everything up on a screen that will grab attention away from the fact the policies of the White House haven’t worked to put Americans to work.”
“Let me also say categorically, I have paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes. A lot of taxes,” he said. “So Harry is simply wrong, and that’s why I’m so anxious for him to give us the names of the people who have put this forward. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear the names are people from the White House or the Obama campaign, or who knows where they’re coming from.”
Los Angeles Times 8/4/2012
One way the Mr. Romney can clear this up is by releasing several more years of tax returns, which as long as he refuses to do, will continue to be red meat for Democrats.