House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday "the American people were too smart" for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) suggestion on the Senate floor Thursday that Mitt Romney paid no federal income taxes for a decade.
"I don't know how you go out there and make a statement like that without any facts," Boehner said during an appearance on "Kilmeade and Friends." "It's one of the problems that occurs here in Washington, people run out there without any facts and just make noise. The American people are too smart for this, they'll get to the bottom of this, it clearly is not a fact, and I would think that the Senate majority leader would be smart enough to know that."
But so far Reid has been the only one to publicly have made the claim, saying earlier in the week a Bain Capital investor called his office to tell the Nevada lawmaker that Romney had managed to avoid paying income taxes. The Republican candidate has said explicitly that there was no year in which he paid nothing in federal taxes, and Reid has refused to identify the investor.
Reid made clear Wednesday that repeating the accusation was an attempt to bait the presumptive Republican nominee into releasing his tax returns.
"The burden should be on him. He's the one I've alleged has not paid any taxes," Reid said on a conference call Wednesday with reporters. "Why didn't he release his tax returns?"
In an interview last week with NBC News, Romney said Americans were "not real concerned about tax returns" and that no additional returns would be forthcoming.
"I’ve released all the information about my financial holdings that's required by law," Romney said. "And then in addition beyond the law, have released, or will finally release act — when the last year is complete, two years of full returns.
"And what we've noted is our Democrat friends, take what's there, twist it, distort it — dishonestly use it in — in attack ads. I just don't wanna give 'em more material than is required."