Harry Reid’s Obnoxious and Offensive Gaffe
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has always had a reputation of being loose with the facts and prone to verbal gaffes. Sometimes, Reid seems to be abiding by his own odd play book. He has made fun of smelly tourists and called former President George W. Bush a liar. Reid’s reputation is not good and it just went down another notch this past week.
Reid’s claims this past week that Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney has not paid taxes for ten years has caused a firestorm of controversy. Beginning in an interview with the Huffington Post this past Tuesday, the Nevada Democrat said that Romney’s “poor father must be so embarrassed about his son.” Reid then went on to claim that Romney went a decade without paying any taxes.
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.
Reid provided no evidence for the claim. Most politicians would have apologized after making an unsubstantiated accusation; not Harry Reid. He doubled down on this ridiculous claim.
On the Senate floor two days after the Huffington Post story broke, Reid continued with his verbal antics and said “the word’s out that (Romney) hasn’t paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.” It is really odd that Reid argues that “the word is out” about a claim that he himself had made 48 hours earlier. Reid seems to be using himself as authority for declaring that “the word’s out” about a bogus claim that Romney dodged taxes for ten years.
It is truly outrageous that the Senate Majority Leader went to the Senate floor to make a partisan accusation against a private citizen. Most speeches in Congress are political theater about legislation, something going on in the district or to attack the performance of the other party. It is not a frequent occurrence for a Senator to take to the Senate floor to level an accusation that a candidate for president has dodged paying taxes. This speech from the Senate floor, by the Majority Leader was completely inappropriate and wrong.
Multiple media requests have been made to Reid’s office to produce a name of this person who claimed Romney didn’t pay taxes for ten years and Reid’s office has ignored all of these requests. It is pretty clear that Reid made this claim up. There is no person to back up this claim and that is why Reid is urging Romney to release his tax returns to prove Reid wrong. This seems like a not well thought out plan by Reid to force Romney into releasing more than 2 years of his tax returns.
Reid’s statements have drawn some strong words in rebuke. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Reid on ABC’s This Week a “dirty liar.” Mitt Romney said that he has paid taxes and that Reid “has to put up or shut up.” Senator Lindsey Graham (D-S.C.) said on CNN’s State of the Union that he believed that Reid is “making things up.” Nobody seems to believe Reid and even his allies will not stand by the majority leader’s claim.
When a politician accuses another of a crime, they really should provide some evidence. Yet irresponsible claims seem to be the calling card these days for the allies of Obama. Just look at Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter’s allegation a few weeks ago that Romney’s actions during the end of his tenure at Bain Capital were either a “felony” or a lie. Robert Gibbs, Obama Campaign advisor, recently compared Romney to a “prep school bully.” This campaign by the allies of Obama is turning into one of the dirtiest campaigns in history – and we have not even had the party conventions yet.
Senator Reid has had a history of making dumb comments, but that is no excuse. In 2005, he called President George W. Bush a “loser” and a “liar.” In 2010, he had to apologize for making racially charged remarks that then Senator Barack Obama could be successful because of his “light-skinned” appearance and lack of a “Negro dialect.” The fact that he is known to be willing to say anything to trash his opponents and give racially insensitive praise to his friends does not absolve this latest wild claim. Just because everybody already considers Reid to be a little bit crazy, it’s no excuse.
As a constant source of embarrassment for the Democratic Party and the Senate as an institution, maybe it’s time for Reid to step down from his leadership position.
America deserves better leaders than Harry Reid.
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