Harry Reid is still lying about Mitt Romney’s taxes — and he is still proud of it

This article from yesterday’s Washington Post has to be read to be believed.

One of the strangest incidents of the 2012 presidential campaign was when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid accused then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having not paid any taxes over the past decade. That Reid made that allegation from the floor of the Senate made it even odder.

The problem with Reid’s allegation? It’s just not true. We know that, at least in 2011 and 2010, Romney did pay taxes. How do we know that? Because Romney released his tax returns for those years. In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxesin 2010, he paid slightly more than $3 million in taxes.

Our own Fact Checker gave Reid Four Pinocchios for his “no taxes” claimPolitiFact gave the claim a “Pants on Fire” rating.

Yet Reid (D-Nev.) not only refuses to retract the allegation but also seems to take great pride in it. When pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash last year about continuing to defend a statement that is not true, Reid responded, “Romney didn’t win, did he?

Now, in a new interview with WaPo’s Ben Terris, Reid echoes those sentiments. Here’s Reid’s full response to Ben’s question about the Romney attack:

People bring that up, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Why? Because I knew what he had done was not be transparent and forthright about his taxes and to this day he hasn’t released his tax returns. … Did I want to do that? No. I had the information, I tried to get somebody else to do it. I tried to get somebody in the Obama ‘reelect,’ I tried to get one of the senators, I tried to get one of the outside groups, but nobody would do it. So I did it. And with that, like everything, I think in life, here’s something I learned from my father, if you’re going to do something, don’t do it half-assed, don’t play around. With the Mitt Romney stuff, I didn’t play around. …

Again, to be clear, Reid is just wrong. Romney didn’t release all 10 years of his tax returns but the returns he did release showed that he paid taxes. If a small part of an allegation is accurate but the main thrust of it isn’t, that doesn’t make the whole thing true.


The story continues:

Then there’s this from Reid via Terris:

Is there a line he wouldn’t cross when it comes to political warfare?

“I don’t know what that line would be,” [Reid] said.

That is the ultimate statement of political cynicism. What Reid is saying — if you consider the comments to Bash last year and those to Terris recently — is that the ends justify the means in all cases. It doesn’t really matter if what he said about Romney’s taxes is wrong. All that matters is that Romney lost. That Romney lost is justification enough for Reid to have made the false allegation.

Can people begin to understand why so many of us are embarrassed by the most prominent LDS senator ever?


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

22 thoughts on “Harry Reid is still lying about Mitt Romney’s taxes — and he is still proud of it

  1. Reid’s assertions were one of several straws that “broke the back” of the Romney campaign.

    In my opinion, the coup de grace was the late release of the video regarding the ~47% who would never change their minds, which unfortunately got convolved with the ~47% who receive some sort of funding from the government. The Washington Post ran an article on the negative impact of the 47% video in 2013.

    I’m not necessarily terribly upset that Reid said in absolute terms something that was either untrue or at least less true than he stated. I’m more bothered that he gives himself props for torpedoing the Romney campaign when he was merely one fish of many in the sea of those who detracted from Romney’s momentum.

  2. Geoff,

    I was having a decent morning so far today. The breeze was cool as I sauntered into work. I didn’t have fifty emails waiting for me. The weekend is approaching. Things were nice.

    Then you intentionally raise my blood pressure and cause me to want to employ some of the “colorful metaphors” that make the Navy famous. Thanks.

  3. Perhaps my “getting upset” meter is a bit broken at the moment due to my awareness of an elderly man who has become a willing victim of fraud. I mean, if he was going to give someone the better part of $1 million dollars, I wish it had gone to someone other than a scam artist from Ghana using bad English and using images of a Vegas porn star as their profile pic…

  4. Meg, here is why you should care more about this: I don’t agree with Mitt Romney’s politics (for the most part), but just about everybody in the world except the most cynical people in the Dem party agree he is a decent, competent man. We should want more decent people in politics, at the very least to help pass laws to protect the innocent elderly man you mention. Government’s legitimate purpose is to protect people from fraud like that. Harry Reid’s cynical politicking is the most egregious recent example of people deliberately destroying decent people just to win elections. It is not simply something that embarrasses Mormonism (which it does) — it is something that directly contributes to the downfall of our society. Is it any wonder that we end up with people like Trump and Hillary when decent people are treated like this by Harry Reid? He should be ashamed of himself, and he is actually proud. Absolutely disgusting.

  5. I have no kind words for Reid. The Senate will be a less toxic place when he finally steps down in January

  6. What’s that question we’re occasionally asked about being honest in all of our dealings? I’d like to hear Reid’s answer to that one.

  7. Teelea, I think it is the very rare politician who could answer that question in the affirmative without stretching the truth.

  8. In my observation, the thing that made Congress toxic was the successful effort to get rid of “pork.” When there was no longer anything to trade across the aisle that could be taken home to Congressional Districts, there was no reason to cooperate.

    Independent of your favorite politician to skewer (whoever that might happen to be), the fundamental rules of the game have altered. It’s a game for those who play well to media in a way that wins elections. It’s no longer a game for those interested in merely governing well, since the election thing is a constant task master.

    When you go to muck out a stable, it’s inevitable that you’ll get manure on your hands. Since being a Member of Congress isn’t something I ever plan to do, I would personally be loathe to criticize too pointedly the ones who do volunteer to go into the stable to maneuver through the feces in pursuit of good as they see it.

  9. Meg, we are just going to have to disagree mightily on this issue. I consider it a civic duty to condemn in the strongest terms possible the high and mighty like Harry Reid who abuse the trust of their public office. In fact, this has traditionally been the role of the “press,” a description that 200 years ago meant people who used a public means (a printing press) to criticize those politicians who failed in their public obligations. Today, the “press” means a lot more, including TV and radio and social media. Harry Reid started out with nary a penny to his name and after decades in public “service” is now a multi-millionaire who lies and brags about lying. He and people like him are the reason that people no longer trust politicians and the political process. His behavior should be condemned in the strongest possible terms, and the fact that he shares my religion is a further embarrassment.

  10. I think Meg has a point about “pork” and having less reason to compromise. I would add that the media demonizes any politician who attempts to compromise as not “standing their ground” or not being faithful to their constituents. The media loves conflict- I believe this is a big part of the popularity of Trump and that we have the most disliked candidates in modern history.

  11. AmyE, I am going to have to disagree that trying to get rid of pork was a bad thing. First, we never really got rid of it — take a look at the latest federal budget and there are thousands of pork-related projects. Pork is alive and well. Politicians sometimes forget it is not their money. It is the money taken from taxpayers. The fact that politicians use it primarily to position for reelection — through pork projects — is yet another thing wrong with Congress.

    There are a very small number of congressmen who refuse almost all pork-related lobbying. Ron Paul was one. There are several still in Congress today, including my congressman Jared Polis (a Democrat), who are not horrible on the issue of pork.

    You can compromise without sharing favors for money, which is what pork involves. If we elect congress people with integrity, they would be willing to compromise on political issues where they agree. Again, Ron Paul compromised all the time with Democrats on issues where he didn’t have to give up his principles.

    But it is a tricky thing saying that compromise is always a good thing. I simply don’t believe that. People should be willing to have certain core principles where they will not compromise. If I were in Congress (never going to happen because like Meg I would never run for public office) I would only do it for probably one two-year term because I would never compromise on raising taxes or on religious liberty or on protecting the entire Constitution.

  12. Mr Reid has made his bank account much fatter in those stables if manure while merely being in public service.

  13. Watching Americans discuss politicians of differing ideologies is always interesting. Watching Mormons discuss how other Mormons behave is even more so. But watching Mormon Americans discuss how Mormon politicians of other idealogies behave is something else.

  14. I wonder if he holds a temple recommend, as they clearly ask you as a requisite to enter the temple if “you are honest in all your dealings with your fellowman”.

  15. Harry Reid converted to Mormonism in college and served as a bishop. I’ve heard secondhand accounts from folks who knew him at that time who thought he was the sweetest, most decent man in the world.

    Something happened to that man. The way my brother puts it is that he sold his soul to the Devil. I doubt that that is what literally happened, and the real course of events was probably more complex, like most tragedy.

    If politics can corrupt you like that — and I think that’s the short version of Reid’s life — then I can be grateful that, in my brief foray into politics, I found it not to my tastes or skills.

  16. Harry Reid’s political life is a cautionary tale of what can happen often in the political world. In his mind, he is fighting the good fight for a better world. He is so involved in the battle and the world of partisanship, lobbyists and power (only to be used for good, of course) that he doesn’t step back to see how he has been corrupted by this world. This was one of the main messages of “Lord of the Rings” — that having power to “do good” will almost always corrupt the person involved. But Tolkien got that message from other ancient stories, including the Bible.

    I like the way the D&C puts it in 121:39:

    “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

  17. Irony of ironies: I was put in moderation on Millennial Star because I called Harry Reid dishonest. Someone claimed that it was an ad hominem attack. Clearly a misunderstanding of ad hominem since if Harry Reid has ever been active here it was not under his own name.

    There has been huge turnover through the years but here I am still on moderation.

  18. The issue that few people acknowledge is how the win and say anything at all costs destroys credibility. This is why, even though I might prefer Trump to Hillary for a variety of reasons, I will not support or encourage others to vote for him.

    Our words should mean something. Our support should mean something. The people bashing Trump for being the worst thing imaginable, would also be bashing Romney or anyone else for being the worst thing imaginable.

    It’s not about the person and their positions, it’s about which side gets to maintain or seize power. Reid reveals what many of us already know – the politicians can’t be trusted in -ANYTHING- they say, because -EVERYTHING- they say is now about not only winning but beating the other side.

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