In a press availability in South Carolina Mitt Romney had this to say about his taxes:

“I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I’ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face. But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year. Harry Reid’s charge is totally false. I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him. I don’t believe it for a minute, by the way. But every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

I really can’t fathom why he brought this up. The tax return issue had largely been out of the news. The Romney campaign hasn’t responded to my inquiry as to why Romney would reopen the door.

The questions will likely restart once again. And the media — with mock seriousness (after mangling and distorting virtually every aspect of the Bain story) — will wonder why Romney won’t release the complete returns. Moreover, it suggests that the Democratic attack machine has gotten into Romney’s head. (Did he actually spend time doing this?) That’s not how to keep a campaign on offense.