Mitt Romney directly addressed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim that Romney spent a decade not paying taxes, denying the charge and telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that it was time for the majority leader reveal the source of his information, reports The Huff Post.
“Well, it’s time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course, that’s totally and completely wrong,” Romney said in a radio interview. “It’s untrue, dishonest, and inaccurate. It’s wrong.”
Romney went on: “So I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we’ll probably find out it’s the White House. Look, the Obama campaign is going to do everything in its power to try and talk about anything besides the president’s record. Home prices, median American incomes, gasoline prices, 23 million underemployed or unemployed.”
“They don’t want to talk about that or his promises, cutting the deficit in half, cutting the medical insurance rates that people pay,” Romney added. “These are all the things he promised. He can’t talk about that, so they try and put this kind of baloney out there, and the people could smell it for what it is, and it’s not a pretty smell.”
On Tuesday Reid said that about a month ago a person who had invested with Bain Capital had called his office.
“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” the person told Reid, according to the interview.
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid said. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?
“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid continues. “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.”
According to Yahoo, Reid repeated the claim on the Senate floor. Following Romney’s response, he released a statement saying that “it’s clear Romney is hiding something.”
“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,” Reid said in the statement.
He goes on: “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,” said Reid.
Meanwhile, reports The Hill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday critisized Reid for his suggestion that Romney hadn’t paid taxes, saying the Senate leader was making statements “without any facts.”
“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,” Boehner said during an appearance on “Kilmeade and Friends.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Reid’s accusations are “beneath the dignity of [Reid’s] office.”
“I think the Majority Leader has more important things to do than use the Senate as a forum for his baseless accusations,” he told the Daily Caller.
However, The Huff Post points out that Romney could make the whole issue go away (and make Reid look foolish in the process) by simply releasing more tax returns. But his campaign showed no willingness to do that, especially under the terms that Reid’s established. But that seems likely to just invite even more speculation.