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August 2nd, 2012
08:54 PM ET

Romney and Reid double down on tax fight

Sen. Harry Reid alleges Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for a decade. On AC360, Paul Begala defends Reid and says there's evidence of Romney's "tax avoidance." Mary Matalin tells Anderson Cooper she thinks this is just a distraction and it's sad that the Democratic Senate Majority Leader is making the questionable claims.

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Filed under: Mary Matalin • Mitt Romney • Paul Begala
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. marilyn

    as a resident of the state of ma.,and a republican. this is nothing new for mitt the last time there was an issue about his his taxes. guess what? mitt lied. in 2002 in his bid for governor it was found out he did not pay taxes in the state of ma. but he paid them in utah– mitt retroactively refiled them. for more information just check any boston newspaper archive 2002.
    maybe he's not releasing his taxes because he used the government's amnesty program..
    what boggles my brain is no one is bothered by his IRA?? i

    August 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  2. david bridges

    Well, actually, Reid is third in line for the presidency, so why don't we have HIS taxes? The Sen. Majority Leader has been a u.s. legislator for the past 30 years and his filings indicate his is worth about $6 million. It's not from family, nor from working for a living, because he never has. So, how did a career legislator get rich? Let him put up HIS tax returns from 1982 so we can determine where his money came from AND how much he paid in taxes. HINT: he started at $60,000 and now gets $174,000. That will all be taxed as ordinary income at the federal marginal rate, currently 33%, Take out the federal and state taxes. To amass that wealth, he'd need after tax income of around $150,000 a year to get to $6 MM, which means he has no expenses while living in DC ??? Harry, pony up YOUR returns so we can see where your money comes from and what rate you've paid since it should have been over a third. Anderson, please ask for those returns, since the Senator IS third in line for the Presidency.

    August 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  3. Will

    "When politician's refuse to release their tax returns, it's because they can't." The last sound byte in the video is a nice little summation of something we all already know.
    Mitt Romney can NOT release his tax returns because they are damning and if he released them he would lose the election. Period. The end.

    August 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  4. Belinda

    Romney, this is not going to go away. period. I think the requests, Democrats are asking for, are perfectly legitimate. He's the one being deceitful. let's see. Romney is literally hiding something, for the whole World to see , it's embarrassing !!! and Reid gets blamed ? What a crock.

    August 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Mr. Romney is asking the American people to vote without having done due diligence.
    Mr. Romney would never buy a company without reviewing all of the financials and certainly a full decades' worth.
    So it's difficult to take Mr. Romney seriously when he ask us to do less investigation than he would.

    August 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  6. Don Casebolt

    Isn't the plan that if Romney gets even a lower marginal rate, he'll create more jobs-like hiring a few more stable boys to clean out the stalls of his Olympian horse?

    August 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  7. Dr. Paul

    I'm an independent voter who has voted both Republican and Democrat and I'd like to know what's in Mitt's taxes. Mr. Romney's father thought it was a great idea and so do I. Until this issue is resolved by sharing Mr. Romney's tax information I'd be hard pressed to vote for him. We're voting for a President, not crowning a King!

    August 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Theresa

      It's not that he has anything to hide.... he just doesn't want the issues to be about his wealth and he doesn't want to give them means to distort and lie about. If Romney has done anything illegal don't you think that the IRS would be all over him?? And really you don’t think that Obama hasn't had someone go through them with a fine tooth comb? It's about exposing his wealth and nothing more .. I think Romney is smart not to divert from the issues of the economy and jobs.. So he's rich ... more power to him.

      August 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Robert

      George Romney was the first politician to release his tax returns under the belief that “Any politician who will not show multiple year taxes may be hiding something.”

      August 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  8. Katherine Ryan

    In the American Justice System, the burden of proof is on the accuser, not on the accused.
    Romney has played by the tax laws available to every American and now all of a sudden he is being accused of being a tax cheat. If his many tax returns have passed IRS audits what is the problem?

    Reid is proving to be anti-American by persisting in this McCarthyism tactics to cause extreme doubt upon Romney without any proof; reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political a adversary. Lay it out there Reid ...lets see the cards in you hand.

    August 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • sheldon2000

      Katherine Ryan: No one is saying that Romney broke the law. What Harry Reid is saying is that Romney didn't pay any taxes for 10 years. Whether Reid is right or not remains to be proven, but let's be clear about what he's actually saying. He is NOT saying that Romney broke the law. He IS saying that he didn't pay taxes. If this is the case, presumably it is because Romney found legal loopholes, not because he broke the law. The "American Justice System" is not involved here. No one is suggesting that Romney should be arrested or prosecuted. We are therefore talking about the American POLITICAL system, not the American justice system. In the American POLITICAL system, there is a strong presumption in favor of free speech. Reid can say what he wants, as long as it is not slanderous, and when talking about a political figure, the rules even for slander are very permissive. That's why Republicans have been getting away with casting doubt on President Obama's citizenship and calling him every name in the book from terrorist to socialist. Harry Reid gets called all kinds of names also. If you don't like the fact that this is the way politics works in America, you should be focusing on a whole bunch of stuff beyond what Reid happens to be saying.

      And if Romney wants to prove that Reid is wrong, he has a very simple way that he can do that. All he has to do is release the last 10 years of his tax returns. If Reid is wrong, Romney will be vindicated and Reid will look like a fool. SO why does Romney still refuse to release his returns?

      August 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Mark Best

      Katherine this is not about legality. This is an issue of transparency in which every presidential candidate for generations has provided a decades worth of data. Legal or not, when you run for office you inject yourself into the court of public opinion and customs. Romney will not release his returns because the unjust level of taxes he has paid is a disgrace. The fact that wealthy people have corrupted the system whereby they pay a lower marginal rate than much poorer working people is the real issue. Since he doesn't want to acknowledge that he shouldn't be running for office in the first place.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  9. sean g.

    I guess it's not just a destraction but a reality that he is just one more person not paying his taxes. A reality just another one bites the dust.

    August 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  10. chian saw

    Hi Andersen,
    Thank you for the news about Mitt Romney. I would never vote for a politician who does not pay taxes. As a citizen I feel everyone's duty is to pay their fair share in taxes. And the man has a secret swiss bank accouint?

    August 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  11. GTK

    Anderson, When a lot of prominent republicans made the allegation that president Obama was not born in the us, what proof did the produce. And what did the president do? This is the same scenario. Mr. Romney – the former governor – has to do the same. But he will not. That is the republican way.

    August 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Murray Dorin

    In Parliament, if you make an accusation, you put your seat on the line. If you are wrong you must resign. Harry Reid should be required to do this. It eliminates a lot of the nonsense.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Mike

      The only way to prove Reid is wrong is for Romney to release his tax returns for the last 10 or more years. If we were playing chess, I would GLADLY sacrifice one Senator for the GOP presidential nominee! LOL

      August 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Robert

      I like this idea, Bachman would've been gone a long time ago

      August 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  13. Dave Riese

    Romney seems to think that he has no obligation to release his 2009 and earlier tax returns. Even if there was no accusation, the American people have a right to see how this rich man paid his taxes. If he wants to keep them private, don't run for office,
    Since we know that Romney has off-shore accounts, it is important to see his earlier tax filings to see if the interest in these accounts was included in his earnings. In 2009 the IRS held a clemency period when tax cheaters could turn themselves in without fear of prosecution and pay up. Was Romney one of these people?

    August 3, 2012 at 1:46 am |