ED HENRY, FOX NEWS HOST: I just want to follow up on taxes because the charge is not just that maybe Mitt Romney paid less than a factory worker or whatever but it’s a bit more vicious than that from Harry Reid, he is saying that he didnt’ pay… he has an anonymous source telling him that he paid no taxes for something like ten years so the President has talked alot about changing the tone in this town, why hasn’t he picked up the phone and ask Harry Reid to stop making a charge like that?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I think again that the idea that people telling Harry Reid what to do is inconsistent with what everyone here understands to be…
HENRY: But you can express your opinion that…
CARNEY: You hear the President going out and talking about the important issues facing the American people everyday and he talks about it, those issues, in terms that reflect the importance of economic matters like our tax code and how our tax code for example currently benefits companies that ship jobs overseas, he would change that so it ceases encouraging investments overseas and outsourcing of jobs and encourages insourcing of investments with jobs
He talks about that in terms of, as I was saying earlier, a tax code that allows in totally legal fashion hedge fund managers to pay an effective tax rate that’s significantly lower than most Americans. Or many Americans, and that is not reflective of a system that we need in place. That helps the America middle class grow, helps enhance security.
HENRY: And that is not the charge. The charge is Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for ten years. Does the White House believe that allegation?
CARNEY: I would refer you to Senator Reid for, I can’t, only Senator Reid knows his source, which he has discussed, so I’ll refer to you for that.
I think it is a fair point to make that this is an issue that was not originated during the general election campaign, did not start with the President’s campaign or with Senator Reid, it started in the Republican primary when Governor Romney’s opponents brought up this issue and the fact that Governor Romney’s father began a tradition in 1968 of major candidates for President releasing mulitple years of tax returns and that has been a tradition that has been adhered to by major candidates for President ever since.