Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has revealed strong, and questionable accusations against Mitt Romney. The Nevada Democrat has told the Huffington Post that a Bain investor called his office claiming that Romney did not pay any taxes for 10 years. Sen. Reid and his aides have not identified the alleged caller, and the Romney campaign has criticized the claims and irreverent comments from Sen. Reid in regards to the late George Romney in the Huffington Post story.
Democrats have pressed the former Massachusetts governor to release more than his 2010 tax return and 2011 estimate, which Sen. Reid insists that if revealed, would bar Romney from making it through a Senate confirmation process as a Cabinet nominee.
Sen. Reid claims that a former Bain Capitol investor, who the Nevada Democrat would not name, called his office about a month ago claiming that Romney “didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”
“Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Sen. Reid told the Huffington Post. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”
While Sen. Reid offers no further information in the report about the claim and the Bain investor who called it in, the Nevada Senator waxes poetic about Romney’s late father George, who in the 1960s was the first presidential candidate to release extensive information on his personal finances. Sen. Reid told the Huffington Post that the late Romney “must be so embarrassed about his son.”
The Huffington Post report comes the same day as the release of the latest Obama campaign video attacking Romney for not releasing additional tax returns.
In response to the loose accusations released by Sen. Reid, Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden told the Huffington Post that the governor has “gone above and beyond the disclosure requirements by releasing two years of personal tax returns in addition to the hundreds of pages of personal financial disclosure documents he has provided to the FEC and made public.”
Madden went on to cite the references made by Sen. Reid in regards to George Romney, as “troubling and disappointing.”
“We have many substantive disagreements with the senator and his policies, but using insults about a father-son relationship is a step too far,” Madden went on to say.
The Washington Post notes that Romney has previously denied rumors that he hasn’t paid taxes in a single year, and recently told ABC News that he couldn’t recall if there were years when he paid below the 13.9 percent tax rate that he paid in 2010.
Writing on ABCNews.com, Sunlen Miller describes Sen. Reid’s speculation as “a totally unsubstantiated rumor.” Maggie Haberman of POLITICO writes that Sen. Reid “used a T-shirt gun of unsubstantiated claims” in the Huffington Post story.