Harry Reid isn't the sort of guy who likes to say "sorry," apparently.
Asked by Fusion's Jorge Ramos about Reid's debunked claim — made from the floor of the Senate! — that Mitt Romney hadn't paid taxes in 10 years. Reid said: “I have no repentance, because it was an issue that was important. The American people deserve to know.”
I've written on Reid's refusal to acknowledge the obvious — that his claim about Romney's taxes was false — before. But it's worth pointing out again because Reid seems to be up to something other than simply not apologizing here.
Here's a key passage from their exchange:
“It’s true that there was no evidence?” Ramos asked.
“Listen, there’s an easy way to resolve this,” Reid replied. “Let him give us his tax returns.”
Okay. So, a few things.
First, Reid didn't simply allege that Romney didn't release his tax returns during that floor speech. He said Romney didn't pay taxes for the past decade and that fact was the reason why the 2012 Republican presidential nominee wasn't willing to release his taxes. So, the conclusion that Reid's conduct was right because, "Well, Romney didn't release all his tax returns, now did he?" isn't right. Reid's allegation was that Romney never paid taxes in the past decade. Period.
Second, we know that, at least in 2011 and 2010, Romney did pay taxes. How do we know that? Because Romney released his tax returns for those years! In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes; in 2010, he paid just over $3 million in taxes.
Hell, Harry Reid knows that! "Of course he paid taxes,” Reid told Ramos. “What he didn’t do is let us see his tax returns.”
What Reid means, of course, is that Romney didn't let him see enough of his taxes for the Nevadan's liking. But putting even that aside, the point here is that Reid said that Romney hadn't paid taxes in a decade. On the Senate floor. That is, and this is beyond debate, totally false.
What Reid was trying to do is obvious: He wanted to make a claim that would draw lots of attention and, in so doing, ramp up the pressure on Romney — in the heat of the presidential campaign — to release more of his tax returns. But that doesn't change the fact that what Reid alleged is simply not true.
Not saying sorry for it — and continuing to defend it — is Reid's prerogative. But it makes no sense.