The fierce pushback from Republicans against Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) appears to only be fueling his quest to tear down Mitt Romney over his finances. The Senate majority leader is telegraphing that he has no interest in letting up.
The latest salvo in the intensifying spat comes from Reid’s chief of staff David Krone, who upped the taunts by calling Republicans “a bunch of cowards” and “henchmen for Romney” in an interview with Politico late Sunday night.
“To turn it around, all their childish rants this weekend about calling Reid a ‘liar’ and all that, it just shows you how scared they are that Harry Reid was telling the truth,” Krone told the paper.
Top Republicans on Sunday flatly accused the Senate majority leader of lyingwhen he claimed Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade, something he says he learned of from an as-yet-unnamed investor to Bain Capital. Reflecting the frustrations of his party, an incensed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Reid a “dirty liar,” and has since repeated the epithet.
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.”
For Romney, it’s a lose-lose proposition because doing so comes with its own risk. The Republican nominee has amassed a fortune, mostly via investment income that allows him to pay a lower tax rate than many working Americans, and Democrats are eager to turn that into a liability with middle class voters.