Deciding to respond directly to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s charge that he hadn’t paid taxes for a decade, Gov. Mitt Romney today said he had paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes over the past ten years.
“I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13 percent,” Romney told reporters. He added that because of the large amount he contributes to charity, which is deductible, the rate “never gets well above 20 percent.”
Romney suggested that Reid, who says a “credible source” told him about Romney’s taxes, actually was making the whole thing up.
“Harry Reid’s charge is totally false,” Romney said. “I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him. what he says they told him I don’t believe it for a minute, by the way.”
An Obama campaign spokeswoman told the New York Times that Romney was probably lying:
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, said that since there was “substantial reason” to doubt Mr. Romney’s claims, “we have a simple message for him: prove it.”
“Given Mitt Romney’s secrecy about his returns,” she said, “coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word.”
Romney spoke to reporters during a stop in South Carolina.