Priebus defends 'dirty liar' slam against Harry Reid
August 6th, 2012
09:50 AM ET
2 years ago

Priebus defends 'dirty liar' slam against Harry Reid

(CNN) – The Republican National Committee chairman was far from apologetic Monday morning when asked if he took back a recent comment calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "dirty liar."

"You know there's no triple-down in blackjack but I'll triple down on my comments from yesterday," Reince Priebus said on Fox News. "It's the truth."

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The top Republican made the original remark Sunday morning in a discussion about Reid's accusations that Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying taxes. The Democratic leader made the allegations based off what his office calls an "extremely credible source" affiliated with Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital.

Reid first made the comments in an interview with Huffington Post on Tuesday, then later voiced his opinions on the Senate floor, urging Romney to release more tax documents to answer any lingering questions.

Romney pushed back twice last week, telling Reid to either "put up or shut up" and calling the reports false. Republicans, including Priebus, backed up the presumptive GOP nominee Sunday morning on news shows.

"I'm not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn't filed a single page of tax returns himself (and) complains about people with money but lives in the Ritz-Carlton here down the street," Priebus said the ABC News program "This Week." "And the fact that we're going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous."

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also came out against Reid's statements, saying the majority leader was "making things up."

"What he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he's lying about his statement, of knowing something about Romney," Graham said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

While Priebus' "dirty liar" jab took some heat on Twitter Sunday, the RNC chair did not back down when questioned about it Monday and further reiterated his attack, saying Reid had "denigrated" his position as Senate majority leader.

"What else do you call somebody who goes on to the Senate floor and claims that someone hasn't paid any taxes in ten years - a complete lie - and uses his official office to do it?" Priebus said.

He once again repeated the line: "He's a dirty liar, and we're moving on to defeating this president and saving this country."

Responding to Republican statements on Sunday, Reid's spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement it was "sad" Romney "has forced his party to defend his decision to hide the truth about his tax returns."

"As Senator Reid has said, an extremely credible source informed him that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for ten years," Jentleson said. "It's clear Mitt Romney is hiding something, and the only way for him to clear this up is to be straight with the American people and release his tax returns."


Filed under: 2012 • Harry Reid • Reince Priebus
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Bob

    So... PROVE he's a liar, Mitt, otherwise admit YOU are.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. when your nightmares end WiLLARD begins

    Priebus calling ANYBODY a liar is like pot meet kettle. All you need do is look up his "facts" on Factcheck and you'll see that his pants are on fire so much that you have wonder how he can ever sit down.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Paul W.

    If Harry Reid is lying, why isn't the only people who have seen these tax filings outside of the Romney campaign, John McCain and the folks who vetted Romney in 2008 spoken up to support him? Their silence speaks volumes in this discussion. Far more than Priebus' proclamation could ever be.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. mgc Milwaukee

    I am from wisconsin and this obnoxious little man has run for every office in the state and lost. The republicans picked a bitter loser for their RNC chair who has 0 credability.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Jerubbaal

    If romney can provide mclame the sell out with 23 years of returns to be hired as vice pres, shouldn't the American voters expect the same in order to hire him as pres.

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. kmjay

    The one person or group who do know for sure is John McCain and his campaign staff, Romney provided 20 years + when being vetted for VP. I don't hear John McCain calling Harry Reid a dirty liar.

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. tylenol

    Thats not True! he showers Everday

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If people were forced to tell the truth, there would be no republican party.

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Mikey

    Someone said "You have already released all that is required by law" and "Prove to us that you will stand strong against evil attempts to bring you down"
    ***********************************************************************
    No one has won a presidential election in the past 3 decades without releasing at least 7 years of tax returns. I will be surprised if that changes this time.

    As far as "evil attempts" to bring someone down goes: Have you not been witnessing what President Obama has had to endure over the past 5 years? It seems Romney supporters are almost as out-of-touch as he is. Almost.

    And Priebus once again proves he is a major league douc.....

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. FSU1970JRS

    It would be a political victory if Willard would release his tax returns and prove Reid was lying. But he hasn't. John McCain saw 20+ years of Romney's tax returns while vetting his V.P. choice in 2008 and then picked Sarah Palin, That alone tells you how bad politically Romney's tax returns are. Reid was just saying what everyone is thinking.

    August 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Namelucaluca

    First, all harry reid needs to do is reveal his source and then we can examine the credbility. If it looks like its real, it will add legitimate pressure. But right now, saying it was a bain investor? Thats plain stupid. If i own stock in apple, does not mean i know one thing about steve jobs filings. Come on....at least demonstrate you guys are thinking. Does that make sense?
    Second, the outrage is that reid did not do this on a msnbc interview...then it would be less bad. He chose the floor of the senate to hurl an unsubstantiated lie.
    3rd..the attacks 2 weeks ago were tbat romney had to pay back taxes in mass. Because he claimed utah residency in 2002....since weve seen 2010 and we know he paid in 2002...right there, the ten years doesnt add up. At least use logic.....reid could have said 5 and there would be a chance...this is simple stupidity and dems who hate bush lies shud hate reid lies....come on!

    August 6, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Pbman

    Question for all of you out there, if Romney hadn't paid his taxes for ten years, don't you think that the IRS would have already audited and fined/jailed the guy. And another thing, anyone who thinks Romney should show us his taxes, please make yours available for me to see. If you don't, you're a liar and a disgrace to our nation...

    August 6, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. TLWiz

    After many years of the "Kenyan" and "Muslim" lies being spread like manure by the fear mongering bigot GOP, it is good to the the Dems hit back. It would be very easy for Mitt to disprove this allegation – but the allegation seems highly likely as many super-rich people work the tax system so that they pay zero taxes legally. That super-rich Romney would have paid zero taxes for 10 years would be a killer and Romney will do or say anything to change the subject and cover up what he really is and what he has fought for his entire life.

    August 6, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Noto BO

    Harry Reid can't run on anything Obama has done so they have to make up crap. Mr all talk no action Obama has nothing positive to say so all he can do is have his people spread lies . Its a shame after almost 4 yrs and this president can't come out and say anything good about himself and all the good he has done because he has NOT.why on earth would we give him 4more yrs. Wake up America do you really want 4 more yrs of this.

    August 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. bb

    Get real, obummer , pelosi (pass it than read it) and Reid the liar, (friom vegas never took a bribe) need to just leave wash, at one time they all said if i cant get it done I'll leave, well Three stooges I'm calling your bluff. Just leave and get out of the way for an honest man. WELCOME ABOARD MR NEXT PRESIDENT (Mitt Rommey)

    August 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. concern citizen

    just ask IRS to audit Romney tax return for the past 1o years and we shall have the truth.. so what's the fuss from either side? get real.. Harry Reid.

    August 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. justin tierney

    first of all this is completely true...because from at least ages 0-10 Romney did NOT pay any taxes at all. If you want to be that ambiguous he is not lying at all. Im sure he also didn't pay his fair share of taxes many years in a row but thats a different subject.

    August 6, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Johan Doh

    What do his taxes have to do with Getting the country out of this economic mess? Perhaps Reid should focus on his JOB. Get us out of this economic mess that Obama has gotten us into. You're Job is not to make laws, not comment on candidates on company time. isn't that fraud?

    August 6, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think it is important to see which foreign countries Mittens is beholden to. America needs to know why Mittens took government money in his corporate raiding and put the money in foreign accounts. We need to know how he managed to get $100 million in an IRA when that would take a person 2000 years to achieve legally.

    August 6, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. DarqueSide

    I don't know whether Harry Reid is lying or not. I find it incredible Reid would put himself out there if he didn't have SOMETHING to stand on, but he's a politician and lying seems to be part of the job description.

    Romney, on the other hand, has been PROVEN a liar on his taxes when he was running for governor of MA. He owes the American people more information.

    August 6, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Bretfox

    Mitt, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, resond to lying slimeballs like dirty hairy. Dirty hairy won reelection by the skin of his teeth. We are stronger than ever now and will defeat this dirt ball next time around. Dirt ball reid is a desperate loser and he is exposing the real character of the loony lying libs. They will lie, steal and kill to keep their power.

    August 6, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. sayer

    Romney could easily prove Reid is lying and release the tax returns but since he won't that means Harry is telling the TRUTH!

    August 6, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Mikey

    @Paul W. – The funniest thing was when the McCain camp did try to defend him by saying that his tax returns didn't disqualify him as a Veep candidate, it was just that Sarah Palin was a better choice. You've got to LOL on that one!

    If Sarah Palin was a better chioce to be one 72 year old heartbeat away from the Presidency, why is anyone even thinking of voting for Romney.

    August 6, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. fogey

    everyone knows all politicians are habitual liars including both Reid and Romney

    August 6, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. SubChaNar

    Another snot-nosed political aspirant from Wisconsin. Strange though, with all of these people coming to the defense of Mitt Romney, that they are not offering any information to support their actions. The GOP and it supporters are fond of name-calling, which is their only line of defense on issues which require informed debate. One only has to look at Priebus' previous ventures into the political skirmishes to understand the antagonistic nature of his personality. However, it gets him attention which is a valuable commodity for any political aspirant.

    August 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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