Mitt Romney might have good reason for not wanting to release tax returns–there is nothing there to show.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed that sources close to Romney’s former venture capital firm, Bain Capital, told him that the Republican presidential nominee didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years. Reid, who normally is a quiet publicly and fighter behind the scenes, made the allegations in an interview with The Huffington Post in which he had some harsh words for Romney.
Reid claimed that Romney would never make it through a Senate confirmation process due to his insistence to keep tax records private.
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, referencing George Romney’s then-unprecedented decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.
Reid emphasized that he had no problem with Mitt Romney’s wealth–which he said is well over the $250 million estimate being thrown around. But he did take issue with Romney’s refusal to release further tax returns.
He said a call from an unnamed Bain insider hinted to the reason why Mitt Romney is being so secretive.
“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?
It is interesting that Reid would not reveal his source or attempt to verify whether the damning allegation is actually true. From his perspective that might not actually matter much. The statement is more likely an attempt to goad Romney into releasing his past tax returns, which would undoubtedly give Democrats more material to attack him with.
Already Democrats are using the allegation to attack Mitt Romney. In a talk at the Center for American Progress, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland speculated that Romney is a “tax cheat.”
Democrats have already made coordinated efforts to attack Mitt Romney on the actions of Bain Capital, which was known for buying out American companies and dismantling them or sending jobs overseas.