Republicans went on the offense against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sunday, accusing him of lying about how much Mitt Romney's paid in taxes. But their efforts to tar the Senator failed to neutralize Romney's tax returns as an issue in the presidential campaign.
Reid recently alleged that the reason Romney has refused to release more than two years of tax returns is because hasn't paid taxes for the past 10 years. Though he hasn't offered any proof, the claims fed persistent calls from Democrats—and some Republicans—for Romney to release more returns.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus both called Reid a liar on the Sunday talk shows, which is aggressive language, even in Washington.
But the attacks didn’t bite too deep. In fact, some might say offensive merely helped to keep the matter of Romney’s tax returns squarely in front of voters.
Indeed, Democrats appearing on the Sunday shows appeared unfazed by the prospect of Reid being tarred as a liar. Apparently, Romney’s tax returns are politically potent enough to risk tarnishing the Senator’s reputation for a bit.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Republicans Attack Reid Over Tax Allegations
[National Journal, 8/5/12] Republicans attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sunday, accusing him of lying about how much Mitt Romney has paid in taxes. But the offensive did little to change the conversation, as the issue of Romney’s tax disclosures continued to take center stage.
Romney: No More Federal Stimulus
[National Journal, 8/5/12] Mitt Romney said he does not believe the Federal Reserve should engage in further rounds of stimulus, arguing that it is unlikely to improve the economy.
Record Spending by Obama’s Camp Shrinks Coffers
[New York Times, 8/4/12] Obama's campaign fund burn rate is the highest in history, meaning that his considerable war chest is being depleted at a fast pace -- and he'll have to fundraise just as quickly to keep up with his spending.
Campaigns Drown Supporters With Fundraising Emails in the Race for Cash
[Washington Post, 8/4/12] "Hey" is just one of the many oddly familiar subject lines of the endless fundraising emails sent out by the Obama campaign. Is the deluge of fundraising pleas turning off would-be donors?
The Truth About Post-Convention Bumps
[Wall Street Journal, 8/4/12] What can the convention do for Romney? Well, it might give him a bump in the polls -- but that won't necessarily last, as history teaches us.
Sen. Rob Portman Seems to Fit the Bill for a Romney Running Mate
[L.A. Times, 8/4/12] Often cited as a top pick on Romney's VP shortlist, Portman seems like he could be the perfect running mate for the candidate -- experienced, not likely to go rogue and perhaps with enough pizazz to quiet critics who say he's too boring.
Rob Portman Is No Chicken, but He Did Play One on TV
[National Journal, 8/4/12] The line on Sen. Rob Portman, a leading contender in soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s veepstakes, is that he’s safe—the only guy boring enough to not overshadow Romney on a national ticket. But it seems the junior senator from Ohio isn’t all golf and mutual funds after all.
Rising Gas Prices Haunt Obama
[The Hill, 8/5/12] Gas prices made an appearance in the GOP primary election, and it looks like they may return as a campaign issue, as prices have begun to rise and look to continue going up for some time to come, offering Romney an opportunity to criticize Obama's energy policy.
Obama Campaign Called Ohio Decision On Early Military Voting “Appropriate” In Lawsuit
[BuzzFeed, 8/4/12] A complicated lawsuit filed by the Obama campaign that attempts to untangle a number of recently-passed voting laws in Ohio has been characterized by Republicans as an attempt on the Obama campaign's part to dampen the military vote, but the filing itself indicates the Obama campaign had no such goals in mind.
Could Tougher Voting Laws Squelch the Youth Vote?
[Associated Press, 8/5/12] Young voters, a demographic group that turned out heavily in favor of Obama in 2008 and could be integral to a win for the president this time around, could be disproportionately affected by new voting ID laws in a number of states.
Romney Stumps for Mourdock in Indiana
[National Journal, 8/4/12] Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday made a joint campaign stop with Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock, where he painted himself and the tea party favorite as two peas in a pod headed to Washington to change it.
Presidential TV Ad Spending Focused on 9 States
[Associated Press, 8/5/12] The majority of campaign funds have been spent in nine states, all generally considered to be swing states, according to an AP analysis, indicating the candidates are focusing their efforts on convincing undecided voters to support them come election day.