Tags: Harry Reid | Mitt Romney | 2012 election | taxes | lie

Harry Reid Relishes Romney Tax Lie: 'He Didn't Win, Did He?'

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 03:08 PM

More than two years after he falsely accused Mitt Romney of failing to pay his taxes, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has no regrets – and appears to relish – leveling serious charges in the midst of a presidential campaign.

"No, I don't regret that at all. No one would help me. They were afraid the Koch brothers would go after them, so I did it on my own," Reid said in response to a question from CNN's Dana Bash.

Story continues below video.

When asked about critics who said his smear of then-Republican presidential candidate Romney echoed the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, he brushed them off and said with a smile, "Romney didn't win, did he?"

Reid, who has announced he will not seek another term in office, has remained unapologetic since he initially claimed without evidence or justification the rumor that Romney had avoided paying taxes for nearly a decade.

And some believe his refusal to acknowledge the false nature of the allegations, as well as the defense offered by his fellow Democrats, reflects a deeper problem.

"As he approaches his retirement in December 2016, Reid will no doubt be lauded by members of his own party, by at least some people on the other side of the aisle, and no doubt by the president of the United States. None of them will ever make mention of Reid's obvious fabrications, the irresponsible nature of his claims, or the fact that he has no regrets for what he did. And that's a problem," writes Doug Mataconis, a contributor to The Christian Science Monitor.

Before he repeated the charges on the floor of the Senate, Reid suggested in a July 31, 2012 interview with The Huffington Post that a Bain investor told him that Romney had not paid taxes for ten years and that is why he refused to release his full tax returns.

According to Reid, someone called his office in the early summer of 2012 and said, "Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years."

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain. But obviously he can't release those tax returns," he told The Huffington Post, but refused to identify the caller.

Despite the fact Reid did not provide evidence to support his claims, fellow Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came to the Nevadan's defense.

"If he has said somebody told him that, some credible source, then I believe that," the California Democrat told reporters after a campaign appearance in Florida, according to The Associated Press.

She said it was "up to Gov. Romney to release his returns" and disprove the allegations.

Reid's charges, however, were not accepted without question by everyone. The Washington Post gave him "four pinocchios" days after he first smeared Romney.

"Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim. Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress.  He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents," said the Post in August 2012.

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More than two years after he falsely accused Mitt Romney of failing to pay his taxes, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has no regrets – and appears to relish – leveling serious charges in the midst of a presidential campaign.
Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, 2012 election, taxes, lie
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2015-08-01
Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 03:08 PM
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