Harry Reid manages to turn Romney’s tax returns into a good story for Romney

While we were focused on T-SPLOST, the presidential campaign marched on. Which is not to say it moved forward, in any normal sense of the word.

The latest moment in the summer silly season comes courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, employing the “when did you stop beating your wife?” technique toward Mitt Romney’s tax returns. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Sen. Harry Reid caused a stir this week when he told an interviewer that Mitt Romney hasn’t released more of his tax returns because “he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.” On Wednesday, Reid doubled down on the charge. …

“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”

Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”

“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, un-American.

You see, in this country, the burden of proof is on the accuser. That is the standard in criminal cases, and it informs our sense of propriety in the court of public opinion.

This is why neither 9/11 “truthers” nor Obama “birthers” have gotten any traction with the broader public: Their respective “cases” — to use another word loosely — rely on accusations they can’t prove and an implication the accused should prove they’ve done nothing wrong. That’s not how it works in this country.

For good measure, Reid also suggested Romney’s own deceased father would be disappointed in his son. I’m glad to know Reid’s tastelessness knows no bounds.

The good news is that the senator’s claim is likely to shift the focus from Romney to those jumping the shark while badgering him to release his past tax returns. After all, when you’ve lost Jon Stewart

(Note: If you click that Jon Stewart link, you should expect to hear some language we don’t allow on AJC blogs. And no, I’m not going to defend the claims on the Fox & Friends clips he shows at the end.)

– By Kyle Wingfield

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988 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 2nd, 2012
11:06 am

If the liberals are reporting Mr. Romney to the tax man, it would probably be wise if the tax man checked out the liberals first, just sayin…

They BOTH suck

August 2nd, 2012
11:09 am

Kyle

Not sure how much traction the Romney campaign gets from this, however Reid surely stuck his foot in his mouth.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 2nd, 2012
11:12 am

Funny how I see few people including may Republicans playing the “well I just don’t know card.” Romney does it with Trump, Santorum did it… but when Reid clearly says “he received a call from someone who claimed to know” and “I just don’t know”, he is playing the same gambit that is a long time political ploy. So yes that is how it is done in this country as shameful as it is from all sides (it’s not just Reid).

Fortunately the courts have different standards.

@@

August 2nd, 2012
11:14 am

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:15 am

Mitt should take full advantage of whatever opportunity he sees with regard to clearing up the issue of his tax returns then. Right, Kyle. And you will not mind if Mitt continues to get hounded about releasing those tax returns either, given how well it’s going for him. Right, Kyle. I wonder what’s in Year 26 of his returns. Or was it Box 26 of another year.

@@

August 2nd, 2012
11:16 am

Wha-a-a-aaa?

I did everything right.

Oh well

Scott Fresno

August 2nd, 2012
11:16 am

I don’t think the birther issue is comparable. Unlike Obama’s birth certificate, Romney’s tax records for those years have not been released.

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:16 am

If the liberals are reporting Mr. Romney to the tax man, it would probably be wise if the tax man checked out the liberals first, just sayin…

I heard Geithner said, bring it on.

Brosephus™

August 2nd, 2012
11:17 am

Nothing but another in the endless distractions between two candidates who offer absolutely nothing in terms of sensible and responsible governance.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:19 am

Brosephus™

August 2nd, 2012
11:17 am

______

Reid is not a candidate.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 2nd, 2012
11:20 am

Bro — no disagreement but its difficult for Obama to campaign against the specific promises Mitt has made if elected….. there are a lot of generalities but few specifics.

Del

August 2nd, 2012
11:22 am

Harry Reid, indeed…the horses ass of Congress.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:22 am

Obama denied the allegations that he was born in Kenya.

Mitt has not denied the allegations that he paid no taxes for ten years.

iggy

August 2nd, 2012
11:22 am

Harry Reid is very greasy/slippery from selling excessive amounts of snake oil.

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:23 am

To roll back tax credits for the poor to help fund tax breaks for the rich is simply morally reprehensible,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of the social justice organization Sojourners, who called the federal budget a “moral document” that should transcend party politics.

The Rev. David Beckmann, president of the ecumenical hunger group Bread for the World, said letting tax benefits expire for the highest earners would create $830 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. This money, he said, could be spent on helping those who struggle with poverty.

What! How would Romney’s Bain survive under such conditions!

godless heathen

August 2nd, 2012
11:23 am

And Harry Reid diddles little boys in the Senate washroom.

“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” GH said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged diddles little boys.”

And save our balls from the the omnipotent Federal Government.
http://youtu.be/6r9IWCKo4Tc

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:25 am

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 2nd, 2012
11:20 am

__________

There are some specifics. Such as he would reduce taxes for the super wealthy. He would increase spending for defense. He would start a trade war with China (not his exact words, but the results of what he said he would do)
Those specifics are bad enough to vote against him.

Obama is over

August 2nd, 2012
11:25 am

The Obama/Reid/Pelosi crowd is demanding 10 years of tax returns from Romney for political grandstanding, yet their recently passed “JOBS” bill, designed to encourage IPO activity, only requires IPO candidates to release TWO years of financials to the public. Once again, the current administration is only concerned about re-election and is frankly a farm team when it comes to ideas about growing the economy. They are not particularly interested in protecting the best interests of American citizens unless it involves increasing the size of Government and lining their own pockets. It is time for them to step out of the way and let the pros from the major leagues step in.

Brosephus™

August 2nd, 2012
11:26 am

Reid is not a candidate.

I wasn’t referring to Reid as a candidate. Instead of actually dealing with issues, we’re stuck on Obama’s birth certificate/school records/religion/whatever and Romney’s taxes/Bain tenure/whatever. I personally could care less about that stuff. I’m more concerned about what their agendas are in relation to putting this country back on a solid economic foundation. At this point, neither candidate has given me enough confidence to vote for them.

EL Mongol

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

The Right Sucks – Yes I will vote for Romney unless some evidence comes out of his rumored wrong doing. I answered your question honestly. Now , your turn – will you be voting for Obama? Reid made accusations so where’s his evidence? Don’t you think the IRS has gone over Romney’s tax returns with a fine toothed comb under Obama’s rule? Have they charged Romney with violating any laws? There’s no smoke – there’s no fire.

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

And to think that Mitt once frequented a restaurant and ate grits and acted as though he was just like all the other ordinary jobless folks around him.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

iggy

August 2nd, 2012
11:22 am

__

He’s from Nevada. How else do you survive out there.

getalife

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

Horrible effort kyle.

Payback for the birthers.

Just show us the papers.

Del

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

“And Harry Reid diddles little boys in the Senate washroom.”

Barney Franks showed him the ropes.

Peadawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:28 am

Romney,

Release your tax return to end this speculation once and for all. End it right now so we can move on.

Thanks

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:29 am

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am
____

And he called them cheesy grits. Give me a break.

Numbers-R-US

August 2nd, 2012
11:29 am

Bro,

Romney has promised more tax cuts. He has promised to repeal Obamacare. He supports Ryan’s budget proposal. Do you honestly need to know more.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:30 am

Del

August 2nd, 2012
11:27 am
_______

Don’t think they use ropes.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

August 2nd, 2012
11:30 am

As I’ve been saying for some time now, Democrats are no longer Americans. Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel, and Thomas Menino are providing the latest evidence.

Vote American. Vote Republican. It’s the same thing.

md

August 2nd, 2012
11:30 am

I speculate that Harry is an idiot…….good thing he now must prove me wrong……..

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

Vote for Romney and go back to pre-existing conditions clauses on your health insurance.

getalife

August 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

It is ignorant take a take a pol’s word om this issue.

Prove it willard.

Beyond the Middle of the Road

August 2nd, 2012
11:32 am

Well, no doubt that Reid went way, way over the top and should be ashamed of his actions. That said, when Romney was being vetted as McCain’s Vice Presidential nominee he shared 23 years worth of tax return information. For the American people though he will only share a couple (and his 2011 one is just an estimated return). While we don’t know what’s he hiding what kind of nincompoop runs for President in recent history without realizing that not sharing a substantial amount of your returns will become a campaign issue? I hate to speculate, but McCain did end up picking Palin over Romney.

Don't Tread

August 2nd, 2012
11:33 am

Democrats want to turn this country into another fascist state (with themselves in charge, of course) where they can level baseless charges at anyone they want and the accused have to prove their innocence.

As far as they’re concerned, to hell with freedom and individual rights, “we’re right and you’re wrong”.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 2nd, 2012
11:34 am

“And Harry Reid diddles little boys in the Senate washroom.” Barney Franks showed him the ropes

How childish can these posts get? So to claim that Reid is “wrong”, these posters resort to shameful tactics of creating their false claims. wow, really successful! :roll:

Peadawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:37 am

“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”

BTW, Reid is 100% wrong on this one. Reid made the claim so Reid needs to prove it.

But on the other hand…Romney could have ended all this speculation months ago.

Brosephus™

August 2nd, 2012
11:37 am

Do you honestly need to know more.

Yep. If the Senate remains under Democratic majority control, what is his Plan B? The only way he’ll get those things done is with filibuster proof GOP majorities in both houses, and I don’t see that happening in this election.

Also, candidates promise things all the time. I don’t want to hear promises. I look at the make up of their teams of advisors, for one. A president’s direction can be guessed somewhat reliably by the mindset of the advisors that surround him.

On the other side, an Obama re-election simply prolongs the DC stagnation as the GOP will maintain control over the House, and they won’t work with him if he were the last person on earth.

Mary Jean

August 2nd, 2012
11:39 am

Yes, of course Obama denied being born in Kenya but dd he have legal proof of where he was born? I have yet to see it. Not paying taxes is legal if the IRS says so. It is actually possible to donate enough to charity to offset one’s income. Reid is trying to force Romney to show his returns and Romney has a right to privacy. Romney has already shown the returns he was required to legally show. The IRS says his returns are legal. He has not been charged with a crime. If Reid has seen Romney’s tax records he is violating Romney’s right to privacy and that is a crime. That’s why Reid clammed up. He has seen the returns illegally and there was no violation of the law by Romney.

@@

August 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

And to think that Mitt once frequented a restaurant and ate grits and acted as though he was just like all the other ordinary jobless folks around him.

^^^ THAT pales in comparison to this administration’s Caribou Coffee Klatches.

Del

August 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

Reagan and Carter only produced one return. Romney has produced one (010) and said he’ll produce his 011 when it’s completed. He’s submitted all of the financial disclosure’s required by law. Reid only makes the Democrats look foolish, which of course isn’t that difficult.

Colin

August 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

Unfortunately, that’s the issue here. Romney not “wanting” to release his taxes says it all. America doesn’t need anymore liars, cheaters, or stealers. I believe Romney said he “paid all the taxes he was legally required to pay.” Again, that says it all. The worst of tyranny is politicians using the government (or tax loopholes, or money, power, favors, whatever) to commit legal crimes against their own citizens. No wonder our roads and others parts of our infrastructure are falling apart – not everyone is paying their fair share! That is completely the issue here: unfairness, injustice, and tyranny. Pay attention to what’s happening in the Middle East … that’s our future.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

“Sen. Harry Reid caused a stir this week when he told an interviewer that Mitt Romney hasn’t released more of his tax returns because “he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.” On Wednesday, Reid doubled down on the charge. …”

But..but…the libs below said that Reid never said that.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

“Just show us the papers.”

Sure as soon as Obama releases his grades from Harvard.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

Mitt has also made the unsupported claim that he paid taxes and made charitable donations for tax years that have not been revealed. The burden of proof for these comments should be on Mitt. He made the claims well before Reid made his statements. That is what you are demanding from Reid, right?

spiker

August 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

“You see, in this country, the burden of proof is on the accuser. That is the standard in criminal cases…”

I agree, Mitten’s financial antics are beginning to smell criminal.

Resign yourselves to four more years of Obama. It takes a national party to win a national election and the republican party is no longer a national political party; it’s an umbrella organisation for nut groups. No true national party would settle for a candidate this weak.

md

August 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

“While we don’t know what’s he hiding what kind of nincompoop runs for President in recent history without realizing that not sharing a substantial amount of your returns will become a campaign issue?”

Well, I know it’s not too recent, but McCain only released 2 years and I don’t recall it being such a big deal.

And a bit further back, Ronnie released 1 year…….and won in a landslide.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

August 2nd, 2012
11:43 am

“Such as he would reduce taxes for the super wealthy.”

Piedmont South, maybe if you’d finish the plan, rather than cutting and pasting what you want to do, you might be able to tell the full story on Romney.

He would also get rid of subsidies and deductions as well, thereby making the net result no different, but simpler.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 2nd, 2012
11:43 am

Debbie Blabbermouth Shultz got herself in a lot of hot water when it turned out that she has offshore accounts.

Yankee

August 2nd, 2012
11:43 am

Nobody said romney broke the law and evaded taxes. Dems “suspect” his failure to disclose means he has someting to hide. That something is probably elaborate tax shelters, off-shore accounts, etc. nobody said illegal.
So, he doesn’t disclose, and looks guilty, or he does disclose, and looks like an out-of-touch fat-cat.

My take: repubs, be pissed at the Romney campaign for screwing this up. They should have seen it coming.

JamVet

August 2nd, 2012
11:44 am

Harry Reid is a spineless clown.

Mitt Romney is a spineless clown who desperately wants to be the next George W. Bush.

Ain’t gonna happen.

He’s unfit to lead…