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Obama Campaign Manager on Reid's Wild Tax Claim Against Romney: Actually, We Have no Idea if That's True or Not


"I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday told the Huffington Post that, according to certain mysterious sources, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying his taxes.

Sen. Reid has no proof of this claim, he won’t elaborate on his super-secret sources, and even President Obama's own deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter

admitted on Wednesday, “we don't have

any proof.”

“[Y]esterday the Senate majority leader … said that someone at Bain told him that Mitt Romney didn't pay any taxes for 10 years,” CNN’s Candy Crowley said. “Does the Obama campaign have any proof that Mitt Romney didn't pay any taxes or that something illegal has been done?”

“No, we don't have any proof and that's not what we're saying [emphasis added],” Cutter responded. “But what we are saying is that we don't have any information. Mitt Romney's asking voters -- the American people, to take his word for it.”

Actually, Miss Cutter, by refusing to elaborate on his accusation, Sen. Reid is the one asking people to take his word for it, not Romney. In fact, Democrats, without any proof or citing any sources, have repeatedly implied and outright accused Romney of felonious behavior.

Who’s asking the American people to take their word for it?

“[Romney’s] running for president of the United States. And he's breaking a long standing tradition that's been in place since his father ran for president by keeping his tax returns secret,” Cutter continued.

“And that's a problem. And I think that lots of people are suspecting a variety of things that are in those taxes. You know he clearly doesn't want to release them. So what's in them that he doesn't want people to know? And those are the questions that people are asking,” she added.

A presidential candidate with boatloads of personal documents he doesn’t want to release: Have you ever heard of such a thing?

But let's back up for a second. What, exactly, did Sen. Reid say?

The Nevada senator claims he got a phone call about a month ago from "a person who had invested with Bain Capital," the HuffPo reports. Reid said the person told him: "Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years."

Wait -- how would a Bain investor know anything about Romney’s taxes?

"Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," Sen. Reid said. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?"

And you better believe the Romney campaign has fired back.

"This is further proof that the president's campaign is willing to say whatever it takes to distract from his economic record, no matter how baseless, unfounded or demonstrably false their attacks are," Romney spokesman Mason Harrison told POLITICO.

"President Obama condemned these kinds of negative attacks in 2008, but like many of the promises he made back then, they have turned out to be just more words," he adds.

But perhaps more entertaining than the fact that the Obama campaign has admitted they’re not quite sure what Sen. Reid is talking about is the fact that left-leaning comedian Jon Stewart, in a segment called "You, Harry Reid, Are Really, Really Terrible," accused the senator of pulling the Romney tax thing "out of [his] ass":

Do you think any of this will prompt the the Senate Majority Leader to rethink his approach to Romney's finances? Of course not! He’s doubling down.

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

When asked to elaborate on his sources, he refused, saying, "No, that's the best you're going to get from me."

"I don't think the burden should be on me," Sen. 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?"

Wait, wait -- the burden is on Romney to disprove an unfounded allegation from Sen. Reid? How, exactly, does this work? Guilty until proven innocent?

Final Thought: You do know Sen. Reid has refused to release his taxes too, right?

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

At this point, does Team Obama honestly think anyone is going to believe anything else they say about Romeny's personal finances?

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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