Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I have to admit that I find what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is doing a bit disconcerting. Someone in his position of authority who is going to need to negotiate with the GOP leadership some major legislative jujitsu later this year during the lame duck session should not be the point man for going after Willard "Mittens" Romney for refusing to disclose his tax returns to the American people.
I don't have any special insight into the senator's reasoning, but Harry Reid is a fellow Mormon, he represents Nevada where risky gambles in Las Vegas are a way of life, and he is a former amateur boxer.
Reid is using Mohammad Ali's famous "rope-a-dope" strategy against George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle." Ali purposely baited Foreman, provoking the latter to attack and to force Ali back on the ropes where the ropes absorbed most of of the force of Foreman's punches. When Foreman punched himself out and became tired, Ali regrouped and ended up winning the fight.
This week, the Majority Leader raised eyebrows when he said “The word is out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn’t”, referring to his recent conversation with an undisclosed source, a former investor in Bain Capital, who claimed Romney paid little or no taxes for the last ten years. Harry Reid: Bain Investor Told Me That Mitt Romney 'Didn't Pay Any Taxes For 10 Years'. One thing us certain, if Harry Reid says he has a source, he does; whether his source is credible is the great unknown.
Harry Reid baited Mittens Romney, and sure enough, Romney took the bait. Romney responded to a question from Sean Hannity that “It’s time for Harry Reid to put up or shut up,” referring to Reid's undisclosed source. (Romney wants the source's name so his supporters can engage in the politics of personal destruction against the source). This only invited more baiting from the Majority Leader. "C'mon! Hit me, you big dope!"
Harry Reid isn't running for president, Mittens - you are. Romney is punching down against President Obama's corner man in the ring, always a mistake. Romney looks ridiculous when he tells Harry Reid to “put up or shut up” when it is Romney who must "put up or shut up" to support his own unverified claims about paying his taxes by releasing his tax returns to the American people.
Simply asserting "Trust me, take my word for it" is not going to cut it with the American people or the media. All Romney has to do to shut up Harry Reid -- and to forever discredit him -- is to release his tax returns. If Reid's assertion is false, there is only one person who can disprove it, and that is Romney himself. If Harry Reid is wrong, then Romney can turn the Bain/tax issue to his advantage and go on the offensive. So why doesn't he?
Harry Reid will continue to bait Romney, just as Ali baited Foreman, inviting his attacks and making him punch himself out by punching down against President Obama's corner man in the ring. When Romney has exhausted his foolish bout with Harry Reid, he will either be compelled to release his tax returns, or President Obama will deliver the KO punch by being able to fairly portray Romney as a man who has something to hide from the American people for which he refuses to come clean -- and that he is not a man to be trusted with the presidency.
h/t graphic a www.giveemhellharry.com.
UPDATE: Republicans on Sunday escalated their attacks on Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D) over his claim that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for years, with the Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus calling Reid a “dirty liar.’’
The GOP is still punching down at President Obama's corner man in the ring, taking the bait. And Harry Reid's spokesman just baited them some more. With Romney tax claims, Sen. Reid is a ‘dirty liar,’ GOP party head says:
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson struck back at Priebus on Sunday, calling Romney “the most secretive candidate since Richard Nixon.”
“Republicans can try to cover up for Mitt Romney’s stonewalling all they want, but this issue is not going away until Romney decides to be straight with the American people and release his tax returns,’’ Jentleson said.
In his statement Sunday, Jentleson reiterated: “As Sen. Reid has said, an extremely credible source informed him that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for 10 years. . . . It’s clear Mitt Romney is hiding something.’’
Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), also appearing on “This Week,” echoed that theme Sunday, declining to criticize Reid and saying that Romney is at fault for the confusion over his wealth.
“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,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Or even 12 years of tax returns that his own father said were what was appropriate.’’
All Romney has to do to shut up Harry Reid -- and to forever discredit him -- is to release his tax returns. But he refuses to do so, which leads the public to believe that Harry Reid is correct, Romney does have something to hide. This is a fight the Romney camp cannot win.