All-in bluff? Reid, Romney and tax returns

Harry Reid's mouth is on quite a roll.

Looking to score political points for his party in the upcoming presidential election, the Senate majority leader this week sunk to the "when did you stop beating your wife" level - all while also apparently managing to channel Mitt Romney's late father.

Ramping up the pressure on Mr. Romney to release his tax returns dating back to ... well, however far back Democrats arbitrarily decide, Sen. Reid told the Huffington Post that the GOP presidential candidate "didn't pay taxes for 10 years."

Sen. Reid claims to have an anonymous source over at Bain Capital, Mr. Romney's former company. How does that person know what's on Mr. Romney's tax returns? Who knows? And neither does Sen. Reid, who added, "Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain."

But what the heck, why not just run with it anyway?

And Sen. Reid kept talking, eventually saying that Mr. Romney's father, the late George Romney, who released 12 years of his federal tax returns when he ran for president in 1968, "must be so embarrassed about his son." Nice.

Sen. Reid has apparently decided to push all his chips to the middle while holding a two-eight off suit.

Mr. Romney has already released his 2010 tax returns and plans to make public his 2011 file when it's completed. What all this has to do with anything other than trying to generate a "gotcha" moment remains unclear. Is the IRS pursuing Mr. Romney, alleging improprieties in his past tax filings? Of course not. So whatever is on those returns is legally consistent with a tax code that Harry Reid helped create.

For that matter, what's on Sen. Reid's tax returns?

Sen. Reid's bluff is nothing more than a not-so-subtle effort to generate embarrassing headlines for Mitt Romney, to obscure real issues and deflect attention from the sorry state of this nation's economy after almost four years of Barack Obama's stewardship.

Politics is a blood sport. But if Harry Reid is going to crash the table talking trash, he'd better have some cards. If not, he should zip it and fold his hand.


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