Who’s Lying Now?

The entire Republican Party currently is flopping about in apoplexy over Harry Reid’s claim that someone told him Mitt Romney hadn’t paid federal income taxes for ten years. Why, they have even taken to calling Harry Reid a liar! Imagine!

According to Charles Mahtesian at Politico, it is extraordinary for one party to accuse the other of lying. I mean, really using the “L” word.

The Sunday news shows featured a rare spectacle that at once revealed the decline of civility in Washington and the depth of GOP outrage over Harry Reid’s unproven claim that Mitt Romney didn’t pay income taxes for an entire decade: two of the nation’s top GOP officials flat out called the Senate majority leader a liar.

That’s no ordinary criticism in official Washington.

There are plenty of other ways that pols use to call out their partisan rivals on their statements. Reid’s GOP counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for one, has already said Reid’s charge is “beneath the dignity” of his office.

But the actual term ‘liar’ crosses a line that’s seldom breached, signaling a widespread GOP belief that, even by the diminished standards of contemporary political debate, Reid has violated a code.

Hmm. Well, seems to me I have heard this before. For example, I remember Al Gore repeatedly referred to as a “serial liar” during the 2008, and that was for saying stuff that he never actually said, or if he did say it was actually true, if you looked it up. But let’s go on.

Reid is not backing down.

Reid wasn’t fazed. His spokesman Adam Jentleson responded in the afternoon by vouching for the credibility of the source and inviting Romney to disprove the claim by releasing a series of tax returns. Calling him the “most secretive candidate since Richard Nixon,” Jentleson told TPM: “It’s clear Mitt Romney is hiding something, and the only way for him to clear this up is to be straight with the American people and release his tax returns.”

The allegation irritated the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board, which called it “a smear from the fever swamps that say more about Mr. Reid’s ethics than they do about Mr. Romney’s taxes.” But Reid isn’t on the ballot this year; Romney is. And as the Journal argued, “Mr. Romney’s problem is that he can only disprove the charge by releasing his tax returns.”

Reid isn’t up for re-election until 2016, and who knows if he’s going to run again, anyway? So what can the GOP do to him? And there’s a chance someone did tell him that Romney didn’t pay federal taxes for ten years.

Unlike Reid’s unsupported and unverifiable claim, Mittens tells verifiable lies as fast as he can move his lips. So can I hear some Democratic spokespeople use the “L” word, now? Anybody? How about the recent howler that the Obama campaign is trying to restrict the military vote in Ohio?

10 thoughts on “Who’s Lying Now?

  1. Don’t forget Joe Wilson. That shocked the heck out of me. “Dirty liar” sounds like something one would hear on the school playground, and has further colored my opinion of Priebus, whose attack dog skills are undoubtedly one of his strong points, along with his ability to divert attention from the subject at hand.

  2. Hmm…

    Mitt can utterly humiliate Harry Reid, and, by inferring that he’s doing all of this under orders from him, also President Obama, too
    All he needs to do, is show about 10-15 years of tax returns.

    What kind of politician, particularly a Republican one, wouldn’t jump through a ring of fire to do just that – to HUMILIATE an opponent?

    A guilty one.

    Mitt is either the dumbest, or feels he’s most entitled, politician in history.
    Or, maybe both.

    Mitt’s had well over a decade to figure out how he could, or should have handled this tax return issue. Instead, we get this, “OH YEAH! Who says? Your Mama?”, nonsense from a man who wants to be our next President.
    Does it come as a surprise to Mitt that people might be interested in not just that he HAS lots of money, but how he made it, and did he pay taxes on it?
    A decade wasn’t enough time, Mitt?

    Ol’ Vlad Putin won’t give you any time at all to handle something important to him and Russia.
    Jayzoos H. Keeeeerist on Stoli and steroids, Mitt – Vlad will have your wife kept at his summer dacha outside of Moscow as his mistress, your 5 worthless sons breaking ice from the remaining glaciers in Siberia for his vodka on the rocks, and your horse turned into Elmersovich Glueski, faster than you can say “magic underpants!”

    Oh, and HERE’S a little something, from Bloomberg.com.
    It seems that Mitt is persona non-grata in Italy for Bain not paying taxes there in a deal he helped structure in the year 2000 – you know, a year AFTER he alleges he left Bain to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    To quote the article:
    “As Bain’s CEO from 1984 to 2001, Romney was personally involved in the deal at various points, including the initial decision to invest. He attended at least one meeting about it in Boston, according to a participant. When Bain sold the directory business in 2000, Romney, while still holding the title of CEO, was in charge of preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney has contended that he gave up management control of Bain in February 1999 to run the games.”

    Oh, and Mitt reportedly personally made $50-60 MILLION dollars on this deal, one of his largest – and one which screwed the Italian government out of desperately needed money at the time.
    One wonders if he paid any US taxes on that money?

    Here, read it for yourselves:

    Mitt’s starting to unravel like a paper 3-piece suit in a hurricane.

  3. It’s called a coordinated attack, and the repugs are masters at it. Now, someone other than Reid needs to step up and deflect some of the attention away from him and put it back on Romney. The reason that they are flipping out is because the election could very well be lost right now, on this issue. They’re fighting for their life. Raunch Pubis is just a despicable human being, if you can call him a human being. And Joe Lieberman just needs to die already. The meme that he is with the repugs only on foreign policy issues is, well, a dirty lie.

  4. Reid is a Mormon. I would bet that his source is a Mormon. Thus, I find his claim very creditable.

  5. Mr. Romney’s problem is that he can only disprove the charge by releasing his tax returns.

    This is a problem? Shouldn’t it be, “Fortunately, all Mr. Romney has to do to disprove the charge is release his tax returns”?

    At any rate, I agree with Tom_B: it’s working. If I was Harry Reid, I wouldn’t only be unfazed, I’d be absolutely delighted with the way this is playing out.

  6. Yes – it’s working. And the problem is not just that Romney has to release his tax returns to disprove Reid’s accusation. The problem is that it’s out there at a high level – Romney’s top surrogates have had to attack Reid – and it’s not going away.

    Here’s the problem. Romney can’t etch-s-sketch with the mainstream media because anywhere but Fox, if Romney will take questions – they\ questions will be about what he’s hiding in his taxes. So Romney has to campaign where there are no new votes – on Fox or outlets where he won’t be asked about taxes.

    When this moves to the next stage of the Romeny roast, the question will be, ‘Why won’t Romeny do interviews with the MSM?” You will hear comparisons to the closet they hid Sarah Palin in when her handlers discovered she’s an idiot. The oh-so-innocent inquiries will be whether Romeny also can’t keep up in the public arena when he can’t script the questions he will be asked.

    There’s lots of election left, but I’m enjoying this.

  7. If I was the Obama campaign I’d be a little worried, if anyone can f#ck this up it’s Harry Reid, it may look good now but this is Harry Reid we are talking about?

  8. I wrote a post recently which argues that Jon Huntsman is Harry Reid’s source of information. Very briefly, the grounds for suspicion are these:

    1. CNN’s Dana Bash strongly implied that the name is well-known and widely respected.

    2. When Jon Huntsman ran his father’s chemical company, he did business with Bain.

    3. The elder Huntsman was a close business partner of Robert C. Gay, the manager of Bain Capital.

    4. Gay almost certainly helped to set up Romney’s tax shelters. The Gay family specializes in that sort of expertise. Thus, we have a credible way for Huntsman to learn about Romney’s taxes.

    5. The Huntsman family donates to Harry Reid. Jon Huntsman and Harry Reid are on friendly terms.

    6. Huntsman feuded with Romney during the primaries. It got personal.

    7. The capper: It has been reported that Huntsman asked Reid to help him (Huntsman) receive an appointment as the head of the World Bank.

    Of course, all of the players here — Huntsman, Romney, Reid, Gay — are prominent Mormons. It’s an insular community. No-one outside that community is likely to know about, or hear about, Romney’s taxes.


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