Mitt Romney suggested that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is taking his cues from the White House in Reid's repeated allegations that the Republican presidential candidate paid no taxes for 10 years.
Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has only said his source is an investor in Romney's former venture capital firm Bain Capital. Romney again Wednesday said Reid needs to "put up or shut up" about his source for the disputed information, adding that when the truth comes out, he wouldn't be surprised if the "source" is someone in the White House pushing that line of attack.
"Let me also say, categorically, I have paid taxes every year. And a lot of taxes," Romney said in response to questions from reporters at a campaign stop in Las Vegas. "So Harry is simply wrong and that is why I am so anxious for him to give us the names of the people who put this forward.
"I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear the names are people from the White House or the Obama campaign or who knows where they are coming from."
Romney has released two years of tax documents and has argued that is more than is required of him, and he accused Democrats on Friday of making hay of his stance on the tax returns because they're trying to "deflect" attention away from their weak economic record and sluggish job growth.
"What we're seeing is one attack after another," Romney said, calling it "politics at its worst."
But Reid made clear Friday he had no intention of backing down, using the occasion of Romney's visit to his home state to hammer the tax return issue again.
"Romney's message to Nevadans is this: He won't release his taxes, but he wants to raise yours," Reid said in a written statement. "Romney seems to think he's above the basic level of transparency and openness that every presidential candidate has lived up to since his father set the standard in 1968."
George Romney, a Michigan governor, released 12 years of tax returns during his unsuccessful 1968 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. His son has released only his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011, years when he was preparing for his own presidential bid or already running.
Reid first raised eyebrows Tuesday by saying in a news interview that someone had told him Romney went 10 years without paying taxes. He would only identify his source as an investor in Romney's former venture capital firm, Bain Capital, and he acknowledged, "I'm not certain" it's true.
That didn't stop Reid from taking to the Senate floor Thursday to accuse the Republican presidential candidate again of paying no taxes, part of a broader Democratic attack on Romney for declining to release more than two years of tax documents.
"The word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years," Reid said. "Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't."
But Romney forcefully denied Reid's allegations on Sean Hannity's radio show Thursday.
"Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with, because, of course, that is totally and completely wrong," Romney said. "It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong.
"So, I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources, and we will probably find out it’s the White House."
Romney's campaign earlier rejected the majority leader's statement as "shameful."