Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid heaped praise on Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, in a recent podcast, raising questions about the former Senate Democratic leader’s suggestion during the 2012 presidential campaign that the latter didn’t pay his taxes.
Reid told the Salt Lake Tribune that he and Romney had a “make up” meeting of sorts after Romney lost his presidential bid as the Republican party’s nominee.
“I asked my friend of many, many years, Gov. [Mike] Leavitt of Utah who had been head of Health and Human Services, to arrange a meeting with me and Mitt Romney after the election,” Reid said in a “Mormon Land” podcast published last week.
“And we had a meeting at his home in Salt Lake where Mitt and I talked about probably how we had done things wrong about each other and our wives were there and we had a very nice meeting — kind of a make-up session. So, I admire Mitt Romney. I think he’s a very very fine human being.”
It’s unclear what exactly the two spoke about, but Reid caused a stir in 2012 when he spoke about Romney from the Senate floor. “The word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t,” Reid said. Romney later released returns showing that he paid $1.9 million in taxes in 2011.
Politifact rated that claim “pants on fire,” stating: “Reid has made an extreme claim with nothing solid to back it up.” Reid claimed in 2012 that an “extremely credible source” told him that Romney hadn’t paid taxes for ten years.
When CNN’s Dana Bash asked Reid in 2015 about criticism that his remarks were McCarthyite, Reid seemed unrepentant. “Well, they can call it whatever they want,” Reid told her. “Romney didn’t win, did he?”
Romney’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
According to The Washington Post, Reid also sent a thank you letter to Romney after his vote to convict President Trump last year.
“Donald Trump will go down … as the worst president in the history of the country,” Reid told the Tribune. “And that says a lot because we’ve had some pretty bad ones.”
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