By Cameron Joseph - 08/05/12 02:39 PM EDT
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as a "dirty liar" for accusing Mitt Romney of not paying income taxes for several 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 when asked about Reid's claim that a Bain Capital investor had told him Romney had gone 10 years without paying income taxes. "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."
"It's hard to believe that the president of 2008, when he campaigned and said he was going to bring America together, that he would trot out Harry Reid and try to divide this country and spread this division and hatred. It's ridiculous, it's wrong, it's untrue. And it's just going to hurt the president," he said.
But the RNC chairman avoided answering questions about whether Romney should release more returns.
"I think this president has got a problem with the American dream," he said when asked about other Republicans' comments that releasing more years would put the issue to rest. "This idea that we're spending all of our time just killing people because they live the American dream and made something out of nothing and made money — I mean, this is crazy talk. And I just think we need to get back to the issues."
Earlier on the show, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) attacked Romney for not releasing additional returns, but wouldn't directly refute or stand by Reid's statement.
"I don't know whose Harry Reid's source was, but I do know that this is a question that has swirled around Mitt Romney for this entire campaign. 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. I do know that there are massive questions about why he has a Swiss bank account, why he has investments in the Cayman Islands and a Bermuda corporation that he has transferred to his wife's name one day before he became governor of Massachusetts," she said when asked if she thought Reid's unproven charges were fair.
"I stand by the fact that I believe, like the overwhelming majority of voters believe, because the polls all show, that Mitt Romney owes us more than one year of tax returns, owes us answers to questions about his overseas investments, owes us answers to questions about why he's decided to invest in foreign countries, as opposed to investing in the United States, owes us answers to questions about why as head of Bain Capital, he shipped jobs overseas," she added. "Those are the questions that need to be answered, and they weren't raised by Harry Reid. They were all raised by voters, and reporters, and people who have a right to ask, and Mitt Romney has yet to come clean on the answers on any of those questions."