CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday returned to the theme that threw Mitt Romney off balance for several weeks this summer, hammering the Republican presidential candidate for refusing to release his tax returns.
"Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve," Reid said during his evening speech here at the Democratic National Convention. "When you look at the one tax return he has released, it's obvious why. It's obvious why there's only been one. We learned that he pays a lower tax rate than middle class families. We learned he chose Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Islands tax shelters over American institutions. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns -- like his father did."
Romney's father George Romney ran for president in 1968 and released a dozen years of tax returns, arguing that only one year could be an anomaly. Romney has released a nearly complete 2010 return and has promised to release his 2011 return in October -- but no more.
In July, Reid told HuffPost that an investor connected to Bain Capital told him that Romney hadn't paid any taxes for a decade. Romney has since claimed to have paid at least a 13 percent rate each year over the past decade -- though without seeing the returns it's impossible to know what level of income he claims.
"Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share. His word? His word?" said Reid, mocking Romney. "Trust comes from transparency and Mitt Romney comes up short on both. See, this is about more than just a piece of paper. It isn't personal. This is about leveling with the American people and creating a level playing field for them. If we don't know how Mitt Romney would benefit from the policies he proposes, how can we know if he's looking out for us, or for himself."
Reid also returned to another favorite target of his, the Tea Party. "We must stop the Tea Party before the United States Senate falls into the hands of extremists and ideologues, who leave no room for reason or compromise, who don't recognize common ground even when they're standing on it," he said.