The Washington Post

Harry Reid: Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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.

The Romney campaign has previously denied rumors that Romney hasn’t paid taxes in a single year and he recently told ABC News that he couldn’t recall if there were years when he paid below the 13.9 percent tax rate that he paid in 2010.

In that ABC interview, Romney said he would be “happy to go back and look” at his tax records, but his campaign aides haven’t replied to several requests to clarify the former Massachusetts governor’s comments.

As for Reid’s assessment of the state of Senate races, he told HuffPo that “We feel comfortable in the Senate,” but said the growing influence of independent political groups could tip the balance of power toward the Republicans.

“Where the problem is, is this: Because of the Citizens United decision, Karl Rove and the Republicans are looking forward to a breakfast the day after the election,” Reid said. “They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some will have scrambled eggs, some will have oatmeal, their teeth are gone. But these 17 angry old white men will say, ‘Hey, we just bought America. Wasn’t so bad. We still have a whole lot of money left.’”

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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Read more at PostPolitics

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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