Huntsman Sr. calls 'Double Down' 'trash'

Jon Huntsman Sr. denied he was the source behind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) claim during the 2012 campaign that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years. 

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Huntsman — the father of the former GOP candidate and Utah Governor of the same name — called the book “Double Down,” which published the report, “nothing but supermarket, tabloid trash.”

“It’s so ridiculous that people associate my name with Mitt Romney’s tax returns, like I would have interest in it or know about it," Huntsman told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday. "These fellows who wrote this book, they dwell on falsehoods and false rumors. They’re nothing but supermarket, tabloid trash. They ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Huntsman Sr. had denied the claims before during the campaign. He advised people who want to ask about Mitt Romney’s tax returns should ask Romney himself. 

During the campaign, Reid relentlessly attacked Romney about disclosing more tax returns — sometimes making the accusation on the Senate floor that a source had told him Romney had not paid his taxes in a decade. 

“His poor father must be so embarrassed,” Reid said in an interview at the time, referencing Romney’s father who had released more than a decades worth of returns during his presidential run in 1968.

Romney eventually released a notarized statement from his accounting firm confirming that he had paid taxes in those years. 

According to The New York Times that first obtained a copy of the book, Huntsman’s son who ran against Romney in the primary is portrayed in a negative light in the book. It describes the younger Huntsman as plotting a presidential bid while continuously telling Obama officials he was not considering a run. At the time he was Obama’s ambassador to China.