The saying "thou doth protest too much" springs to mind when watching the Republican reaction to Harry Reid's statement that a former Romney affiliate told him that the Romney paid no taxes at times over a period of a decade. Of course, there's an easy way to prove whether or not Reid is lying - just release the tax returns. But no, the GOP demagogues, including Lindsay Graham the Palmetto Princess, would rather fume and posture and call Reid a liar. And, as I have noted before, if Mitt Romney has nothing to hide, then why the hell does he keep acting as if he DOES have something to hide? Romney's refusal seems to go beyond mere arrogance - something Romney possess in large quantities. Politico looks at why Reid is keeping up the pressure while Graham and others act as if they are going to commence foaming at the mouth. Here are highlights:
Jon Stewart called Harry Reid “a really, really terrible person” for his unsubstantiated allegation that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years. Mitch McConnell said it was “beneath the dignity” of the majority leader’s office to make such a charge. And conservative commentators are calling on Reid to put his money where his mouth is and release his own tax returns.
But there’s one person who couldn’t care less: Harry Reid. Reid has calculated that the frenzy created by his charge has accomplished exactly what he sought to do: Turn the focus back onto the GOP nominee’s unreleased tax returns, according to several people close to the leader and the campaign. For Reid, he’s got virtually nothing to lose: His approval ratings back home are still upside-down, and he may not even run for reelection when he’s up for a sixth term in 2016.
On top of that, his aides say, Reid genuinely believes his source — an old friend and longtime investor at Romney’s former company Bain Capital — who told the Senate majority leader a couple months back that the GOP nominee didn’t pay taxes for at least a decade. Despite the uproar and the lack of additional evidence to present, Reid isn’t going to stop talking about Romney’s taxes.
In the short term, Romney has been forced to respond to Reid’s accusation, as he did in Reid’s backyard of Las Vegas on Friday, taking attention away from a mixed July jobs report and the GOP attacks on the president’s economic record.
“Gov. Romney has told me to ‘put up or shut up’ — but he’s the one who shut up when people asked legitimate questions about his finances, and it’s up to him to put up his taxes so we can see the answers,” Reid said in the email.
It’s a deliberate attempt to spotlight the fact that Romney has released his tax returns only for 2010 — when he paid an effective rate of 13.9 percent — and his plans to release only his 2011 returns in October. Democrats believe Romney — whose personal fortune is estimated to be up to $250 million — would be seen as out of touch if he releases more tax returns. If he doesn’t, they can pound him for being secretive.