Before This Week host George Stephanopolous even got a chance to ask Republican National Committee Chair (RNC) Reince Priebus about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) groundless accusations that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for 10 years, Priebus told the show’s host that he would not discuss a “made up issue” from a “dirty liar.”
“I’m not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn’t filed a single page of tax returns himself, complains about people with money, but lives in the Ritz Carlton here down the street,” Priebus said straight out of the gate, preempting the topic Stephanopolous had been discussing just minutes before with Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.).
In his interview with Wasserman Shultz Stephanopolos tried to get the DNC chair to admit that Sen. Reid’s unsubstantiated claim, which came from a single anonymous source who Reid says was an investor at Mitt Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital, was not only reckless, but most likely false. Wasserman Shultz refused to answer the question four times before the ABC host finally dropped the issue.
“You say you’re not going to respond but you just called him a dirty liar. Do you stand by that? Do you think that Harry Reid’s a dirty liar?” an amused Stephanopolus asked Priebus moments after his blunt attack.
“I just said it,” Priebus said matter-of-factly.
“So what do you want from him right now?” Stephanopolus asked in response.
Priebus’ answer was simple: for Reid to do his job as a Senator.
“We have an opportunity in this country to save the very idea of America – to bring back the days of liberty, freedom, the American Dream. And the fact is, we’re not doing well right now as an economy.”
Reid’s absurd claim dominated presidential news coverage this week, with even liberal comedian & faux news host Jon Stewart coming to Romney’s defense on the issue. The Romney campaign has compared the charade to Joe McCarthy’s unrelenting search for Communists in the 1950s.
Even after being told to “put up or shut up” by Mitt Romney himself, Reid has still refused to name his supposed source of the information.