Fight Over Romney’s Taxes Escalates
The argument over Mitt Romney’s personal tax returns heated up Sunday, with Republicans calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a liar for suggesting the GOP presidential candidate hadn’t paid taxes for a decade.
Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, revived the debate last week when he said “an extremely credible source” had told him Mr. Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years. “It’s clear Romney is hiding something,” Mr. Reid said. On Sunday, the GOP launched a countercharge. “I am not going to respond to a dirty liar,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Mr. Reid is “lying” and “making things up” about the candidate’s taxes.
Mr. Reid hasn’t provided evidence to back up his claim and hasn’t disclosed his source. Instead, he said it is up to Mr. Romney to prove him wrong. “Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t,” Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor.
Other top Democrats didn’t endorse Mr. Reid’s contention in comments Sunday, but also didn’t shy away from using the moment to press Mr. Romney about disclosing his tax returns. Mr. Romney has released his federal tax returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011. He has faced pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to release more information. The 2010 return shows he paid federal income taxes at a 13.9% rate on $21.6 million in income. Mr. Romney has said he will release his full 2011 return. For that year, he has released the headline numbers, which show him paying $3.23 million in federal tax on $20.9 million of total income.
The Republican challenger last week in Nevada said he has paid taxes “every year—and a lot of taxes.” He didn’t provide details, and reiterated he wouldn’t release more than two years’worthof returns. “Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up,” Mr. Romney told reporters last week after a campaign event in North Las Vegas. “So, Harry, who are your sources?”