U.S. Sen. Harry Reid most definitely doesn’t think his charges that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid no taxes during the last 10 years have been “debunked,” as New York Times writer Adam Nagorney wrote in Thursday’s newspaper.
Romney released his taxes for two years — 2011 and 2010 — showing he paid about 14 percent in taxes on income mostly from investments. But he’s refused to release returns prior to 2010, despite Reid’s allegation that a source reported Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. Nagorney wrote that Romney’s most recent returns disproved Reid’s charge.
But on Friday, Reid refused to back down. Asked if his allegation had been “debunked,” Reid said: “No, and I don’t think it’s debunked in the minds of the American people,” Reid said.
After blaming the media for allowing Romney to make a presidential bid without releasing years of tax returns — a tradition that is not required by law — Reid repeated that Romney’s refusal to do so points to a problem in his returns.
“What is he trying to hide?” Reid asked. “It’s obvious it’s something.”
Reid spoke to reporters after a morning event dedicating the National Atomic Testing Museum and praising Nevada Test Site workers who contributed to America’s victories in World War II and the Cold War. The museum — and funding for health-related problems suffered by some test site workers — have been pet causes for Reid.
Reid repeatedly said he has “nothing personal” against Romney, but nonetheless delivered a harsh political attack. “He’s multiple choice on everything,” Reid said. “He doesn’t stand for anything. He’s the plastic man of American politics.”
Asked to predict the outcome of Nevada political contests or whether Democrats will hold the Senate, a cagey Reid declined to make predictions. “We’ll see. It’s looking good so far,” said Reid, who receives daily briefings on Senate contests across the country that could determine whether he remains as Senate majority leader, or has to move his office to the minority leader’s suite.
Reid lamented the gridlock in Washington, D.C. that he blamed on the tea party, and wished for a return to days when Republicans and Democrats worked together for the common good. He cited the work on the atomic bomb and nuclear weapons testing projects as an example.
“Things have become so tea party-driven,” Reid said. “These people have become the modern-day anarchists. They’re not throwing bombs, but they don’t believe in government.”