Here we go again with another beltway Villager giving Mitt Romney cover for not releasing his tax returns. From this Sunday's Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer took his turn and treated us to the false equivalency game with Harry Reid.
Apparently now politicians are supposed to be held to the same standards as journalists, not that I consider Schieffer a journalist. Schieffer was terribly very upset that Reid won't reveal his source on Romney's tax returns, and the fact that he won't of course means Schieffer thinks Reid is lying.
Never mind that Romney has given us no reason to trust him after he lied about his Massachusetts residency and had to retroactively amend his tax returns. It's too bad Schieffer doesn't think the guy running for president should be held to the same standards as the Senator from Nevada.
If Bob Schieffer is truly concerned about politicians lying, it might be nice if he mentioned the fact that the Romney campaign has been running on nothing but one lie after another, starting with his very first attack ad against President Obama which took him out of context while quoting John McCain. I'm not holding my breath though.
Transcript below the fold:
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right, let's-- let's just kind of move on if we could little bit here. Senator Durbin, because what I want to ask you about is Senator Harry Reid who has insisted and keeps insisting that he has heard that Mitt Romney over the past decade didn't pay any taxes during some of those years. He has offered no proof whatsoever. There-- there's nobody who can add any proof to this. And yet he keeps insisting that it is true. Isn't it time for him to basically put up or shut up on that?
SENATOR DICK DURBIN: I'd say it's time for Mitt Romney to put up or shut up. When Mayor Giuliani was running for mayor he disclosed his income tax returns and he disclosed them every year when he was in office as mayor. I've done the same thing as a member of the House and the Senate. And now Mitt Romney can put aside all of these criticisms and all of these questions in five minutes. All he has to do is live up to the standard his father established, twelve years disclosure of income tax, just like President Obama, twelve years. Instead, what he has given is-- is tantalize people. We now know he's the first presidential candidate in history to run for office with a Swiss bank account. We also know that he has disclosed these tax shelters and tax havens in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. And we just have tantalizing little tidbits--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But--
SENATOR DICK DURBIN: --that have forced him to go back and amend his financial disclosure returns. Let him make a full disclosure as every major presidential candidate has for the last thirty-six years.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yes, Sir, I-- I take your point on that, but saying he ought to disclose his income taxes is just one thing. Saying that he didn't pay any income taxes when you have absolutely no proof of that, that's-- that's something entirely different, I mean, that-- well, I mean, it's irresponsible. We wouldn't print a story like that or any major newspaper in this country. CBS News wouldn't print a story because we said we heard it. We would try to check it out. Isn't he obligated to check this out and tell us where he got the information?
SENATOR DICK DURBIN: I-- I-- you're going to have to direct that question to Harry Reid as to-- as to his source of information, but what I have to say is basic, even before Harry Reid's statement, why is Mitt Romney failing to disclose the most basic information about income taxes that Mayor Giuliani did, which I have done, which other candidates for President have done. What is in there that he doesn't want the American people to see?
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mayor Giuliani, would you like to say something about that?
RUDY GIULIANI: Sure. I-- I mean, I-- I believe that the reality is that the Romneys have explained this. They-- they've laid out a-- a year of taxes. They're going to put out another year of taxes. That's precisely what John Kerry did. It's precisely what-- what Senator McCain did. People do follow different practices here. It was acceptable in the case of McCain and Kerry, no one raised the issue, oh, my God, they didn't pay any taxes because they didn't put out their tax returns. Both-- both of them, Kerry and McCain are reasonably rich men and good men and-- and we accepted that. And I think the-- I think the-- the concern is, you put out ten, twenty years of taxes. That's all we're going to be doing for the next two months. It's going to become a total distraction. Any-- any-- any person who has reasonable amount of money is going to have complicated taxes. There's nothing wrong with Governor Romney's taxes. I was a prosecutor. I prosecuted tax evasion cases. I've defended tax evasion cases. No one-- no one in all these years has accused him of a crime. The IRS has never brought a proceeding against him. You can be sure with the kind of money that he made and the enormous charitable contributions that he appears to have made, maybe fifteen, twenty percent to charity. This-- this guy has been audited up and down, backwards and forwards.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you just--
RUDY GIULIANI (overlapping): --so I've been pretty comfortable that his taxes are in order.