…that he’s a lowlife bottom feeder.
But of course, you already knew that.
And Datechguy asks, “Can we stop calling the Washington Post a ‘newspaper’ now, and officially declare it a propaganda organ?”
Here’s some of what Reid said—stuff that the WaPo felt we really, really, really needed to know:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.
The interview, published Tuesday by The Huffington Post, includes several swipes by the Senate leader at the GOP candidate.
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said in reference to George Romney’s decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.
Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.
Reid said the person told him: “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,” Reid told HuffPo. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”
Neither Reid nor his aides would identify the alleged investor, HuffPo reported.
Reid’s accusation is so low (especially the part about Romney’s father) that I don’t even see many pundits on the left standing by it. But hey, Reid doesn’t care. They’re not his audience. His audience is those voters who can’t think it through, not writers like Dan Primak, or their readers:
One of two things has happened: (1) Reid is simply making the whole thing up, in order to pressure Romney into releasing tax returns for years prior to 2010, or (2) Reid’s investor pal lied, and the Senator didn’t bother to conduct even a mild vetting before sharing the accusation with reporters. Either way, shame on gossipy gentleman from Nevada.
Let me make this crystal clear: Investors in private equity funds do not receive, nor are they entitled to request, personal tax returns for fund managers. Not just at Bain Capital, but everywhere. For example, ask the person managing your 401(k) for their personal tax returns. See how far you get.
What makes this particular claim even sillier, of course, is that Romney hasn’t even been managing Bain funds for the past 10 years (no matter when you believe he left the firm). He’s been a silent investor like Harvard and MIT. Think the guy managing private equity for Harvard can get the personal tax returns of the guy managing private equity for MIT? Yes, that’s another rhetorical question.
And just to close the circle, it also isn’t possible that Reid’s source was someone within Bain because partner tax returns are not prepared or reviewed in the firm’s offices. Instead, that’s done at PricewaterhouseCoopers. So no “maybe someone found it on a fax machine” theories. It’s also possible that someone else at Bain didn’t pay taxes for 10 years, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean that Romney did or didn’t (he does have other financial interests).
A Reid spokesman defended his boss to me on the phone, only saying that I’d have to talk to Reid’s original source. But of course he wouldn’t provide the source, or even ask Reid if there had been a follow-up like “How the hell would you know that?”
Whatever the truth about Romney’s tax history, we know that Reid’s “source” is full of it.
I think Reid is either lying and the source doesn’t exist, or there is a source but he knows full well the information is a crock. His remarks were strategic, designed to (1) re-focus attention on Romney’s tax returns; (2) make Romney angry; and (3) increase the pressure for the tax returns’ release, which would then afford Democrats the opportunity to pick through them with a fine-tooth comb. It’s a win-win situation for them, because even if the returns are exemplary, they will underline how much money Romney has. And if they have any irregularities at all (which almost all returns are bound to have), that will be grist for the mill, too.
Reid may be an execrable person, but he’s not a political dummy.