Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus seems to know who Mitt Romney is picking to be his running mate. "We're going to give people a bold choice," he said on ABC's This Week. "I don't think people want another four years of this misery. And we're going to give them the antidote, and that's Mitt Romney in November." Preibus wouldn't explain which of the four leading candidates would qualify as a "bold choice," but he was responding to a question about an editorial urging Romney to pick either Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan to fire up the Republican party. "Well, Paul is one of my best buddies. I went to law school with Marco Rubio. And I think the other two guys, Rob [Portman] and Tim Pawlenty, are great as well. So, I think that we're going to have an exciting August, a great convention," Priebus said.
In the same appearance, Priebus found the time to call Harry Reid a "dirty liar" for saying Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. "As far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road, 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 "So, if that's on the agenda, I'm not going to go there. This is just a made-up issue. And the fact that we're going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous." Host George Stephanopolous needed to make sure he heard Priebus correctly. "You say you are not going to respond, but you just called him a dirty liar. You stand by that, you think Harry Reid is a dirty liar?" he asked. "I just said it," Priebus replied.
Sen. Lindsey Graham did the same thing during his appearance on CNN's State of the Union. He didn't use the same language that Priebus used, but he still called Harry Reid a liar. "I've been around this town for a while. I actually like Harry," Graham said. "But what he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he's lying about his statement of knowing something about Romney." Like Stephanopolous, host Candy Crowley doubled back to make sure she heard Graham properly. "You think the leader of the Senate is lying?" she asked. "I think he's making things up," Graham said. "Let's start talking about the real issues that matter to real people and I just can't let that pass. I just cannot believe that the majority leader of the United States Senate would take the floor twice, make accusations that are absolutely unfounded, in my view, and quite frankly making things up to divert the camp campaign away from the real issues."
Ed Rendell said he doesn't think it's a "central issue," but he thinks Romney really needs to release more of his tax returns. Rendell appeared on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. "Of course he should release his tax returns. We all do it. it’s become commonplace in American politics," Rendell said on CBS's Face the Nation. Rendell pointed out that Romney's father released 25 years of his returns. "It’s a basic governmental thing you do... It’s not a central issue, but people want to know if American politicians pay their taxes fairly like everybody else," he said. "Mitt, go ahead and do it."
Debbie Wasserman Schultz stood by Harry Reid during her appearance on This Week. "Everybody is responsible for saying the things that they have information on. Harry Reid says that he has a credible source," Schultz said. "I know that this question is not just generated by Harry Reid. It's been asked by countless reporters, by voters that want to know more about Mitt Romney's finances. What is he hiding? I stand by the fact... that Mitt Romney owes us more than one year of tax returns." She offered Romney a simple solution to the tax return issue: just release them. "I do know that he could clear it up just like that, lickety-split, by releasing his tax returns, which every major candidate for president of the United States has done except for Mitt Romney," she said.
Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs had an even better suggestion for the Romney campaign: go to Kinko's. "We can put all of this to rest tomorrow. Mitt Romney can go to Kinko’s, he can photocopy his tax returns, they’re several hundred pages," he said. "He can hand them out to people like CNN, he can hand them out to reporters all over the country, and you know what? We wouldn’t talk about this tomorrow," Gibbs said during his appearance on State of the Union. When asked if the Obama campaign asked Reid to stop making accusations about Romney's taxes, Gibbs would only offer this response: "I don’t think anybody controls Harry Reid."
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said the same thing during his appearance on Fox News Sunday. Axelrod didn't distance himself from Reid's claims, but he didn't sound supportive, either. "I don’t know who Harry was talking to," Axelrod said. "The point here, though, Chris, is the Romney campaign and Gov. Romney can resolve this in 10 seconds – they can release the tax returns."
Even high profile conservatives are starting to call for Mitt to release his tax returns. Republican strategist Ed Rollins joined the chorus of people asking Romney to release more than two years of returns during his appearance on Fox News Sunday. "I would have put out five or six years," Rollins said. Rollins thinks the problem isn't going away. "I think at this point in time, it’s gonna dog him all the way and he needs to get it behind him. He’s paid a lot of money in taxes, he’s made a lot of money – I think he should release more taxes." Chris Wallace was surprised by Rollins' comments. "Really?" he asked. "Sure, absolutely," Rollins asnwered. "At the end of the day, you come to a point where you basically give a little bit more, and then you move forward. He’s gotta do that. Two years is not enough, obviously."
Mitt Romney gave us a hard deadline for when he'd deliver his pick for vice-president. "I can assure you by the third day of the Republican convention we will nominate a Republican V.P," he said during an interview aired on State of the Union. He wouldn't even hint at who he's leaning towards, though. "I have nothing for you on the vice presidential front," he said. Elsewhere in the interview, Romney said we'd see job growth in the hundreds of thousands if he were elected President. "That’s what happens in a normal process when you come out the recession we’ve had," he said. "You should see that kind of job creation. We should be seeing two-, three-, four hundred thousand jobs per month to gain much of what’s been lost that’s what normally happens after a recession."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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