In yet another chapter in the ongoing feud between the two men, Mitt Romney lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Sunday for refusing to apologize for accusations that Romney didn’t pay 10 years' worth of taxes.
"He surely went over the line," Romney said of Reid during an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "But [I’m] disappointed in Harry Reid. That is really not appropriate for someone in his position to make unsubstantiated claims, and of course they are entirely wrong. I wish we could somehow go back and pay no taxes, but the truth is I paid a lot of taxes, released tax returns so people can see that. Harry, I guess, isn’t big enough to admit it."
The tension extends back to the summer of the 2012 election, when Reid told The Huffington Post that he heard from a source close to Romney’s old private equity firm that Romney had dodged taxes for a decade. Romney released one year of tax returns, showing an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent, and an estimate for another.
Critics pounced on Reid both for his refusal to reveal his source (which he still hasn’t done) and for spreading the speculation with apparent glee. Reid once took to the floor of the Senate to say that the word was out that Romney hadn’t paid taxes, without acknowledging that he had put out the word. Recently, during interviews to mark his impending retirement, he cited Romney’s 2012 election loss as a justification for spreading the rumor. Asked about it all, Reid said he had no regrets.
Love is clearly not lost between the two. On Sunday, Romney told Fox News that he was glad to see Reid, who he deemed “terribly ineffective in pursuing an agenda that is right for America,” retire.
“I wish him well in his retirement,” said Romney, “but I’m glad he is out of the Senate soon.”
To which, Reid’s spokesman responded with....
The "ineffective" charge really stings coming from President Romney.
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) April 12, 2015