GOLDEN, Colorado — Questions about his personal taxes again dogged Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday, his first day back on the US campaign trail after a rocky trip abroad. Romney promised to create 12 million jobs and ease the economic plight of middle-class Americans on a visit to swing-state Colorado, but he had to fend off an accusation by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he may not have paid taxes for a decade-long period.
“The word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years,” Reid said on the floor of the Senate. “Let him prove he has paid taxes because he hasn’t,” the Democrat said. Coming after perhaps the worst week of Romney’s candidacy on a foreign trip highlighted by gaffes, the allegations were firmly denied by the former private equity executive. “It’s time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course that is totally and completely wrong. It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong,” Romney said on Sean Hannity’s radio show.
Romney released tax records in January that showed he paid millions of dollars in taxes in 2010 and expected to pay $6.2 million in taxes for that year and 2011 combined. But he has refused to release any more tax documents, prompting Democrats to accuse the former Massachusetts governor of having something to hide and possibly gaming the system. He could not escape the tax issue at his first event back on US soil after an ill-fated foreign trip to Britain, Israel and Poland.
A plane hired by the liberal group MoveOn flew overhead with a banner that read: “Welcome back, Mitt. Now release those returns” before he spoke in Golden, Colorado.
Eager to talk again about President Barack Obama’s record on jobs, Romney unveiled a “Presidential Accountability Scorecard,” which highlighted the White House’s failure to solve high unemployment and cut the budget deficit. — Reuters