Tonight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released yet another statement affirming his belief that former Massachusetts Governor and GOP nominee Mitt Romney didn't pay any taxes for 10 years.
Reid claims he had an "extremely credible source" to back this argument up, though he still hasn't named this person. Rush Limbaugh has already suggested that Reid may be committing a crime of his own by not revealing who this source is, and indeed, the secrecy involved is almost comparable to...well, the secrecy surrounding Romney's tax returns. However, Romney isn't using his tax returns to try and smear someone else's reputation and Reid is.
Politico flagged Reid's statement, which can be read in full here:
"There is a controversy because the Republican presidential nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, refuses to release his tax returns. As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years. People who make as much money as Mitt Romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes. We already know that Romney has exploited many of these loopholes, stashing his money in secret, overseas accounts in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
“Last weekend, Governor Romney promised that he would check his tax returns and let the American people know whether he ever paid a rate lower than 13.9 percent. One day later, his campaign raced to say he had no intention of putting out any further information.
“When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.
“It’s clear Romney is hiding something, and the American people deserve to know what it is. Whatever Romney’s hiding probably speaks volumes about how he would approach issues that directly impact middle-class families, like tax reform and the economy. When you are running for president, you should be an open book.
“I understand Romney is concerned that many people, Democrats and Republicans, have been calling on him to release his tax returns. He has so far refused. There is only one thing he can do to clear this up, and that’s release his tax returns.”
One wonders if observers of this whole scuffle will begin positing outlandish potential sources that Reid could have learned this information from. After all, under Reid's standard, there really is nothing to prevent such speculation, since the burden of proof would be on him to show that it wasn't true.
Romney, for his part, has shown an uncharacteristic amount of cheek in response to Reid's accusation, telling the majority leader to "put up or shut up" on Sean Hannity's radio show today: