Republicans are playing right into Harry Reid’s hands but they’re too puffed up with the smug, bellicose inhaling of conservative media to know it. They’re all excited that Mitt Romney told Reid to “put up or shut up” about Romney’s tax returns.
Let’s just take a moment here to think about that. Who needs to put up or shut up? Romney is the one running for president and refusing to do the most basic qualification of the job as a candidate. For some reason, no matter how politically costly it is, Romney is too scared to release his tax returns. He gave us one year, which his own father pointed out could easily be distorted. He promises to give us another year, but it’s August already.
Romney can manage to squeak out a few tough talking sound bites on Hannity’s show:
“It’s time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry’s gonna have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course that’s totally and completely wrong. It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong. So I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we’ll probably find out that it’s the White House.”
Wow, what’s that about dishonest attacks? Romney is blaming the White House now for Reid’s alleged knowledge of Romney’s taxes? Where is Romney’s proof of this allegation — does he even have an “unnamed source” or was he just throwing some paranoia at the Hannity and hoping it would stick? Someone is getting desperate to deflect.
Romney is a weak candidate who has been labeled a wimp by Newsweek and worse than Sarah Palin by the British press. When he tells Reid to put up or shut up, he obviously doesn’t know who he’s dealing with — but even more bizarre, it’s almost as if Romney is talking for us to him.
Put up or shut up, Romney.
To that end, Reid isn’t backing down. Reid came back punching, saying his source is extremely credible and Romney should reveal his tax returns to the American public. Reid said, “When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.”
As amusing as it is to watch Romney play tough frat boy gathering his Fox posse to cut Reid’s hair, nothing is going to distract the voters from the key issue here. The only way Romney can put this to rest is to show his tax returns.
But for now, enjoy the show, people—because after putting up with years of Republicans’ baseless attacks on this President and Breitbarted videos that got good people fired and important institutions defunded, it is satisfying to watch them squeal in poutrage when someone accuses them of something that can be put to rest by doing what the candidate is supposed to have already done. They must really feel that Romney is entitled to not have to disclose anything to the public, and that should put to bed any notions of their alleged “values”.
In response to Reid doubling down on his accusation, conservatives are trying to smear Reid, with #HeardAboutHarry trending on Twitter last night. One rumor is that Reid is senile. They blame him for the lack of a budget. Yes, really. Apparently this is supposed to demonstrate what a wild rumor monger Reid is, but a) this wouldn’t be an issue if Romney released his returns and b) the Right has zero room to be outraged over wild rumors (birth certificates and Muslims and Socialism, oh my!). Also, Michelle Bachmann.
A few samples of the weak tea attempt at smearing Reid:
That shows you just how scared they are, and how little they have in their corner. What else can they do, without Romney’s tax returns, but attack Reid’s character in an attempt to discredit the source. Discrediting Reid isn’t going to help Americans trust Mitt Romney, so that mission is already a fail. Republicans chase their own tails in their frenzied confusion over Romney’s sinking poll numbers. But if Mitt Romney and the Republicans think they can Breitbart Harry Reid, they have another thing coming.
Mitt Romney, who brought us “Obama wants to kill me” courtesy of an unnamed source “affiliated” with the White House via Politico, is now declaring unnamed sources utter crap.
It would be funny if Mitt Romney weren’t so seriously full of self-pity from his own self-inflicted wounds. How long can he blame Obama for everything he’s doing wrong? Is Obama so powerful that he can stop Mitt Romney from releasing his tax returns?
According to Mitt Romney, the answer is yes. You see, Romney is afraid of what President Obama would do with his tax returns. He’s afraid of what his tax returns would offer as fodder to Obama and the American people – so instead of manning up and saying, here, this is who I am – take it or leave it, he’s cowering on Fox radio where, just like Sarah Palin, he manages to grunt out a few tough talk lines that inevitably fall to pieces when he’s confronted by anyone other than the public relations arm of the GOP. Mitt Romney can’t handle it.
This is the same Mitt Romney who is so afraid of the press that he only took 3 questions on his entire world tour, and he still made an utter spectacle of himself. The Right sees Romney’s “put up or shut up” bullying as a sign of strength because they are easily taken in by shiny objects, empty slogans and false images. This is the same group that thought Sarah Palin was the bestest thing ever to happen to fiscally conservative America, her actual greedy pork record not computing because you see, she wears a sparkly flag pin and talks about freedom.
The rest of us are left wondering just what kind of coward Mitt Romney actually is, and why it took him so long to respond to Reid’s accusation. Romney must know that he can’t win playing the angry reactionary from his Fox bunker.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.