Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 4:18 p.m.
As the flame-throwing over Mitt Romney’s Bain background grows more heated on the campaign trail, Sen. Harry Reid has dedicated himself to stoking things from the sidelines.
Romney has been taking heat from all corners of the Democratic Party lately over reports that he was at the helm of Bain Capital when decisions were made to send American jobs overseas. Romney has denounced such reports, arguing that he had long since severed ties with Bain -- but won’t release tax returns his opponents say they need to see to believe him.
Reid is so committed to his adopted role in this affair that he spent this week one-upping himself to drive home the message that Romney should be opening his books.
“I never met George Romney, but I always admired him,” Reid said earlier this week, musing about the Republican presidential candidate’s father, himself a presidential candidate back in the ‘60s. “He’s the one who started the process that has happened ever since he ran for president: If you’re running for president, your finances are an open book. He surprised everyone and gave the press 12 years of his tax returns.
“Mitt Romney talks about this great family he comes from and I acknowledge it is -- but why doesn’t he follow the example set by his father and release his tax returns?”
That was on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, Reid interrupted himself while making a case for a small business jobs bill to take a stronger swipe at Romney, suggesting his clandestine history at Bain -- or at least his unwillingness to be forthright about it -- made him unfit to be president.
“If Governor Romney came before this body to be a cabinet officer he couldn’t get approved! He won’t show anybody his income tax returns,” Reid said. “So he doesn’t qualify to be cabinet officer, how could he qualify to be president?”
By Thursday, Reid was raising the stakes on Romney once again.
“He not only couldn’t be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary, he couldn’t be confirmed as a dog-catcher,” Reid told reporters emphatically. “Because a dog catcher - you’re at least going to want to look at his income tax returns.”
(Democrats do love Romney-and-dogs references, don’t they.)
Hmm. Wonder what Reid thinks about Mitt Romney not releasing his tax returns.