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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Republicans Step Up Attacks Against Reid


Top Republicans condemned Senator Harry Reid Sunday, accusing the Senate majority leader of fabricating an assertion that an unnamed Bain Capital investor had told him that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes over a 10-year period.

“I just cannot believe that the majority leader of the United States Senate would take the floor twice, make accusations that are absolutely unfounded, in my view, and quite frankly making things up to divert the campaign away from the real issues,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on CNN's “State of the Union.”

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, was even more direct in his criticism of Mr. Reid on ABC's “This Week,” dismissing the speculation about Mr. Romney's tax returns as “a made-up issue” and calling Mr. Reid a “dirty liar.”

“As far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road - I'm not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn't filed a single page of tax returns himself,” Mr. Preibus said.

The back-and-forth this week over Mr. Romney's unreleased tax returns spilled onto the Sunday talk shows after Mr. Reid told The Huffington Post he had learned of what he said was Mr. Romney's failure to pay taxes from a caller to his office, an assertion he repeated on the Senate floor. But the senator has provided no evidence to support his claim, and Mr. Romney has released two years of tax data showing he paid taxes for the years of 2010 and 2011.

While campaigning in Mr. Reid's home state of Nevada Friday, Mr. Romney said he had paid taxes every year, firing back, “Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up.”

Meanwhile, Democrats continued their attacks on Mr. Romney Sunday, with Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, questioning why Mr . Romney won't release more of his tax returns.

“I don't know who Harry Reid's source is, but I do know that Mitt Romney could clear this up in 10 seconds by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave to John McCain when he was being vetted for vice president. Or even 12 years of tax returns that his own father said were what was appropriate,” she said on ABC's “This Week.”

Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, told CNN's “State of the Union” that Mr. Romney could easily put the issue to rest with a trip to Kinko's to make copies of his tax returns.

“I'll send him the nickels,” he said.