2012 campaign potshots: Harry Reid's new role
September 11th, 2012
12:24 PM ET
9 years ago

2012 campaign potshots: Harry Reid's new role

(CNN) - Harry Reid launched another barb at the Republican ticket from the Senate floor, this time poking fun at Rep. Paul Ryan over the vice presidential nominee's marathon time snafu.

"I want to take just a moment and talk about Congressman Ryan's math," Reid said Monday. "His arithmetic–it's very interesting."

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The congressman misstated his race time by more than 60 minutes while speaking on a radio program last month, saying he had finished the race in an impressive time of under three hours.

While he's known as a fitness junkie, the time still seemed questionable and Ryan admitted his mistake last week after a running magazine found that it took him more than four hours to complete the 1990 Minnesota race. He attributed the mental lapse to the passage of time and a back injury.

"I literally thought that was my time. It was 22 years ago," he said in a separate radio interview. "You forget sort of these things. I hurt my back when I was in my mid twenties, so obviously my perception of races and times were off."

But the Senate majority leader–whose term lasts through 2016–joined in on what's become a political punch line in the last couple of weeks and poked fun at the congressman's mistake.

"I ran the Boston marathon, and using the Ryan math, my time would not have been a world's record but within minutes, minutes of a world record," Reid said. "I could have made the Olympic team. Using the Ryan math, I would have been superb."

The Democratic leader has not been shy in mounting attacks this cycle. Reid stirred controversy when he took to the Senate floor last month to defend his allegation that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for 10 yeas–information he said he received from an "extremely credible" source associated with Bain Capital.

Responding, Romney questioned Reid's source and called on Reid to either "put up or shut up." The Republican presidential nominee said he had no plans to release further tax information than what he's already made public: one completed return from 2010 and an estimate for 2011. He has vowed to release the full return once it's ready.

Last week, Reid again hounded Romney over his tax returns while speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share. His word? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both," the lawmaker said.

Filed under: 2012 • Harry Reid • Paul Ryan • Senate
soundoff (31 Responses)

    "Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share. His word? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both,"
    Amen to that Harry. He's not transparent about his tax plan nor his personal taxes. As far as Lying Ryan goes, his arithmetic is flawed. How'd he he get the budget chairman position?

    September 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Jon

    Is this really news?

    September 11, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. larry

    So we are supposed to take Harry's word even though he won't reveal his source. The Dems must really think the American people are that stupid. Of course they did elect an unexperienced moron to the White House.

    September 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Jon

    Why isn't anyone asking these questiona about Harry Reid?

    I would like to know ... how is Reid paying 100K a year for a room in the Ritz Carlton on his salary of $174K as a Senator? I calculated this by taking the lowest priced room ($265) and multiplying it by 365 ... he doesn't have a low priced room he has a suite which is over $600-$1000 per night.

    $174k a year at a 20% tax bracket would leave Reid $135K to live on. So Reid spends $100k of his $135K a year he makes on a hotel room for him to live in? Something is wrong with this picture. Now with a salary that he nets $35k a year after paying for his lodging, how did he get to be worth over $9 million?

    Well I know one way. Not pay taxes could help, maybe that is why he thinks Romney doesn’t pay taxes – because Reid doesn’t. – I dont believe that Reid doesn't pay taxes ... but I do want to know how he got so much money on his salary.

    Special Note: If you say he is getting a discount because he is a Senator, does he claim the discount on his taxes as income, which is actually a taxable event.

    September 11, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. PJ

    I would love to see Ryan's medical report that says his back injury has affected his memory. I've never run a
    marathon, but I have hurt my back, and my memory is great.
    Good for Reid, he has no qualms about throwing back into the faces of those who like to sling mud, but can't
    take it.

    September 11, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Ann

    Imagine what an important issue.. Ryan forgot how long it took to run a marathon...22 years ago. Although Mr. Obama forgot what he promised to America.. 4 years ago. Whose word can you really trust?

    September 11, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Mikey

    Ryan said, "You forget sort of these things. I hurt my back when I was in my mid twenties, so obviously my perception of races and times were off."
    Am I the only one who is puzzled by the connection between hurting one's back and correctly recalling a race time? Ryan understood the significance of giving a time that broke three hours. This was not an accidental error of memory. He also stated that he ran several marathons, when apparently, he only ran one. I guess his injured back caused him to fantasize running several other marathons.

    This lie isn't that important – however, both he and Romney have told numerous other lies that are very important – and should make anyone considering voting for them think twice.

    September 11, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Travis

    It's stories like this that make me feel better in voting for someone who is neither Republican nor Democrat. Of all days, you would think our elected officials could focus on remembering what this day means for all Americans and have some kind of civility towards each other. I guess that would be asking too much. Worthless, self-serving politicians..every last one of them.

    September 11, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Luke

    Why don't you use your math skills to pass a budget Harry?

    September 11, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Outshines Obama..

    Clinton outshines Obama...and Harry Reid and out-talk Obama right from his hips...sooooooo-desperate....

    September 11, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. myviewis

    Obama said in Florida that American manufacturers stamp 3 proud words "Made in the USA". Last time I counted that is 4 words not 3 words.

    And remember Biden when he said a 3 letter word "JOBS" last time I checked that is a 4 letter word.

    Both Obama and Biden have made mistakes just like Paul Ryan made a mistake.

    September 11, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Max

    Is this really news?????

    YES, YES, YES JON...YES it's very important NEWS. It's news because we don,t want a president and vice president who cook up the books to make things look pretty. We don't want leaders who are poor in simple math and, evasive in telling the truth about their records and dodging questions regarding their tax returns out of fear of scrutiny.

    If your records can't stand up to the test of public scrutiny...you should not rum for public office. So? Why is Romney hiding his tax returns and why is Ryan blatantly lying about his records????

    Its 'REALLY NEWS' for the voters to hear!

    September 11, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Malory Archer


    Obama said in Florida that American manufacturers stamp 3 proud words "Made in the USA". Last time I counted that is 4 words not 3 words.


    It's actually "Made in USA" – three words – no "the". Are wingers really so desparate that they'll pick apart anything President Obama says? Seriously, haven't you ANYTHING better to do than to try to make an issue out of nothing?

    September 11, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    @ myviewis: yes, you are correct. People make mistakes. Can you explain, however, why we haven't seen the 2 full years of Mr. Romney's taxes yet? What's the delay? Also, can you explain why Ryan will not back off from claims that independent fact checkers have deemed false? Thanks and have a nice day. 🙂

    September 11, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    Hey Harry, who is Barry Boshwict to you, hmm, broker, money laundry, inside trader, hmmm why is he associated in such a silent role with you and Nancy ????????

    September 11, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. rla

    This from someone who cannot do his constitutional duties and produce a budget??? Please

    September 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. ghostriter

    Jon, that is interesting math. Unfortunately, it amounts to diddly. You don't know what he pays. It certainly not the normal rate. SO maybe come back when you have actual numbers.


    September 11, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. alien

    Its not fair, Harry Reid versus the entire Republican party.

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. lou

    The sniping and bickering from both sides is getting old. Term limits, please!

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. ghostriter

    Mikey, as an athlete, I know exactly what my performances were. Even more, I know what a good performance is. Him not knowing his reported time was really great and would cause folks to look into it is about as believable as a guy saying he scored 5 touchdown for Polk HS.

    And you are right. Lying for the sake of lying isn't a good look.

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Wendy

    I am still perplexed as to why there is so much focus on the Mitt Romey's tax return as opposed to the lack of buget for our nation for the past 3 years. This cannot be blamed on the Republicans as the Democrats had complete control for the first two years of Obama's Presidency. Additionally, why are our congressional and other leaders continuing to receive pay raises when there has been a pay freeze for other federal workers for multiple years? Why are we not talking about the ever increasing cost of Obamacare that our nation cannot afford? Why are we not focusing on the 16 trillion we now have in debt and the fact that our credit rating as a nation is once again in danger? Why are we not asking why the President is on vacation instead of meeting with his Job's counsel if he is so concerned about our unemployment rate? Why are we not focusing on the real unemployment rate (to include those who have given up the search for a job)? Real issues .... real talk. Who cares about marathons! If I were Mitt I would offer up my tax returns for college and law school applications and transcripts from Obama....what does he really have to hide???

    September 11, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. alien

    USA is not a word it is an abreviation, so there are three words

    September 11, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. ghostriter

    myviews, that is just simple minded thinking. Was Ryan also mistaken when he said he didn't vote for the budget deal that is about to drop a hammer on the country? Or when he said he never requested stimulus funds?

    Republicans will believe one of their own even after making outlandish excuses and will doubt a democrat even after providing a mountain of proof. But hey that's what happens when you forgo logic for party rhetoric.

    September 11, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    @ Jon

    So what? Reid isn't running for the highest office; Romney is. Red herring fallacies are not helping your nominee appear legitimate, bub.

    September 11, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Ferret out the BS

    Why would Ryan lie about some race times? Why would Ryan lie about bills he voted on? Why, why, why, I can only come to the conclusion that he is either a pathological liar or is so lacking in self confidence that he must make himself bigger and better than he really is. Either way it is dangerous to have such a person so close to the head of government. He needs to be voted out of Congress and sent back to Wisconsin, let alone voted in as VP.

    September 11, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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