“You, Harry Reid, are terrible.” That’s how lefty comedian Jon Stewart mocked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid three weeks ago when Reid invoked Mitt Romney’s dead father to argue that Romney should release all of his tax returns in order to disprove a bogus charge that he had failed to pay taxes for ten years. But that didn’t stop the Obama campaign from using Reid’s line in an email this weekend. Today, President Barack Obama himself read from Reid’s “terrible” script when he took the podium at the White House.
Claiming–without irony–that presidential candidates’ lives should be “an open book,” the notoriously secretive (and self-fictionalizing) Obama said that Romney should release all of his tax returns in addition to the two he has released, adding: “I mean, the assumption should be you do what previous presidential candidates did dating back for decades. And Governor Romney’s own dad says, well, the reason I put out ten or twelve years is because any single year might not tell you the whole story.”
Here is what Jim Messina said in an email to Obama supporters over the weekend: “In refusing to be transparent about [his tax returns], [Romney]’s not only breaking the trust he’s asking voters to place in him, but also three decades of precedent that began with his own father’s presidential campaign in 1968.”
And here is what Harry Reid said three weeks ago, referring to Romney’s tax returns: “His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son.” To which Stewart responded: “I cannot believe you just went ‘dead Dad shame’ on Mitt Romney.”
When Reid made his outrageous remarks, both the White House and the Obama campaign claimed that Harry Reid “speaks for himself.” Perhaps he does, and the President is merely copying remarks that his administration and his campaign disavowed three weeks earlier. Or perhaps Harry Reid was not speaking for himself. Perhaps he was merely following a script that President Obama had set for him.
Either way, they are reading from the same script now–and wallowing in the “dead Dad shame” mud pit. Just imagine how much ammunition Romney would have if he did the same–hitting Obama for his father’s communism and his abuse of women, among other sins. Romney won’t do that–nor should he. He is winning.