Priebus defends 'dirty liar' slam against Harry Reid
August 6th, 2012
09:50 AM ET
11 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. Doc_Hollywood

    "It's the truth." When a politician starts out with that statement, you can bet it's a lie. So Priebus, if you KNOW it's a lie, then you have proof it's a lie. So now the onus is on you. Where's your proof it's a lie? Oh only have to show proof when it's the OTHER guy, huh? Funny.

    August 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. PaulCat

    Priebus, tell Romney to put his taxes where your mouth is.. GOP has always been the dirty liars. You know what Mitt said about the kitchen.

    August 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Anonymous

    So Rinse has seen the returns?

    August 6, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. mark

    Give up the 10 years tax papers so we can see Mitt. Show the people.

    August 6, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. ghost

    I remember when herman cain threw a hissy fit when his lawsuit issues came out.republicans seem to lash out when a nerve is struck.

    August 6, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Darryl

    Mitt is going to have to answer the TAX Returns Issue/problem on the world stage period. Good luck with that. Tax payers of America are NOT going to let this go.

    August 6, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Karm99

    Mitt Romney can't win this election without releasing his tax returns.

    And, he can't win if he does...........

    August 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. laraine

    Those of us who got tired of the Dems being beaten up and just folding are thrilled with Harry. You go. The Republicans have been swift boating Dems for years, using the big lie and big money to promote it. Payback is a beach.

    August 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has more dirty little secrets than the CIA. His records as governor in MA were erased, his money contracts to crony vendors from the $1.2 billion payout to Salt Lake Olympics were shredded, he won't release his taxes, and his record of CEO at Bain from 1999-2002 were retroactively expunged. I think Harry is onto something.

    August 6, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Tree

    SHOW us the Money Romney.........Romney is Unfit to be Prseident and the world knows this....... Reince Priebu is a LIAR too, just ask WI...... These Rep thinks that we are fools, that believe everything they put out there. I believe that Reid comments have merit. Reince Priebu is nothing but a want to be........that's is why he is on FOX new my friend.

    August 6, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Rich Klag

    Harry The Liar Reid. Sounds like a circus act. His side kick should be Posie the clown

    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Really?

    "As Senator Reid has said, an extremely credible source informed him that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for ten years."
    So, I heard that extremely credible source is Barney Frank. Ha, no wonder Reid won't tell us who his source is!

    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Releasing his tax returns will make his base disown him. Not releasing them will make everyone else know he has something to hide.

    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. NO ROBME 2012!

    Come on my dear Republicans – if it's a LIE then it shoudl be so easy to prove it, right?


    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Wanderer

    If the GOP wants to prove Reid heard from a wrong source, Romney just shows his tax returns to the Americans. There is no need for Preibus to lose his professionalism by getting upset at Reid.

    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Bill

    Release the returns or the cat-calls for Romney to do will only grow louder between now and November. Preibus is a real slime.

    August 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Bama

    So it seems that he is accusing Reid of being a "dirty liar" when he himself has no idea. Shame on him! Release the records, Mitt, and stop all this nonsense.

    August 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Joe Drager

    So; Harry Reid is a dirty liar. No new news here; moveon.

    August 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. tt

    this is language I used on the playground when I was 8. 'dirty liar' language was also something I outgrew. Too bad those speaking for candidates to the Presidency think they are still on the playground. It's also too bad that any candidate feels they have the right to prevent voters from knowing all the information that may be pertinent in determining how to cast their vote at this critical time. Mr. Romney should make his tax records public, not because of Speaker Reid, but because we have a 'need to know'.

    August 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Do 'you people' think that plutocrats really care about doing what is correct? They do not have to answer to common folk.

    August 6, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Nameme

    Reid if he shows his do you show yours because you do know this is not the first lie you have been caught in remember the rush lie

    August 6, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Reagan80

    A Democrat will lie even when it's easier to tell the truth.

    August 6, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem with the comparison between Romney and Reid with the tax returns is that Reid has already had many disclosures based on Senate rules. Reid has had to disclose earning and other financial data because he is a Senator which Romney hasn't. These two should have a joint news conference that shows Romney's returns and the person from Bain Capital that Reid has been getting information from. That would clear this up very fast.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. helgiman

    Funny how it was no big deal that Obama took two years to come up with a birth certificate! The libs had no problem with that!
    By the way, should I be more concerned with how Mitt made or spends his money or how Obama wants to spend mine!!!!!!

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Is Prince lying when he calls someone a dirty liar. He does not know what Mittens is hiding so the answer is yes.

    August 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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