Harry Reid's attack on Romney's tax record

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 1, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight apparently Senator Harry Reid lied on the floor of the Senate in August 2012. He said that Mitt Romney, then running for president, had not paid income taxes for 10 years. It turned out to be false, Governor Romney has paid millions in income taxes. The other day on CNN Reid was asked about the situation.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are a polarizing figure and a lot of Republicans actually blame you personally for the way Congress and Washington in general has gotten so highly partisan in the last couple of years.

REID: That's interesting. I serve as a whip for a long time.

BASH: That was before he used the Senate floor to go offer GOP mega donors the Koch Brothers and accused Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes with no evidence.

REID: Let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't.

I don't regret that at all. No. Call it whatever they want. Romney didn't win, did he?


O'REILLY: So Reid unrepentant, doesn't regret it. What does that say about him? And what does it say about President Obama who said this?


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I think that when the story is written and when all is told, you're going to have somebody who has done more for Nevada and for this country as anybody who has ever been in the Senate and I could not be prouder of him.


O'REILLY: Anybody who has ever been in the Senate?

With us now Andrea Tantaros a republican and Jessica Ehrlich a democrat. So, Jessica, I mean, you know, Senate Majority Leader goes on the floor, lies about the presidential candidate and doesn't regret it?

JESSICA EHRLICH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I don't know that he specifically lied because he said at the time.

O'REILLY: He said he hadn't paid taxes for 10 years.

EHRLICH: To his knowledge.

O'REILLY: And that turned out to be false. Now, he didn't say to his knowledge.


O'REILLY: He said flat out, he hasn't paid taxes for 10 years.

EHRLICH: He minced words several times. But I mean, to me just, he is a politician. And you know, unfortunately I think that's the nature.

O'REILLY: Do you think every politician that goes to Congress, all Congress people and senators and says things that aren't true and then says I'm not apologetic.

EHRLICH: Not all of them but definitely in campaign season there are ugly things, I mean, Andrea and I worked in campaigns.

O'REILLY: So, you're justifying Reid's bad behavior by pointing to other anonymous bad behavior that's your analysis here tonight?

EHRLICH: No, not anonymous bad behavior. But we've seen this, I mean, look at the attacks that were against the President, also when it was also about his birth certificate. We have seen this with so many different things.

O'REILLY: I didn't see that on the Senate floor. I think you may be diminishing the importance of the Senate majority leader using the floor of the most powerful body in the country to deceive. What do you say?

ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS CO-HOST, "OUTNUMBERED": Well, that's exactly right. And the reason he did it from the Senate floor was because he couldn't be sued. Specifically.

O'REILLY: Well, that's interesting.

TANTAROS: Yes. I discovered that today. I have been reading the constitution and the rules of the Senate. That's why he did it, Bill. He said those words because he couldn't be sued for libel. And it was flat out lie. And he was not mincing words. He was very clear. It was gossip it was hearsay. Remember he talked to a friend of a friend in Mormon circles who worked at Bain.

O'REILLY: Sure. But even if he believed it at that time, Jessica, I have to come back to you, shouldn't he have now acknowledged that, look, I'm sorry I said that, it didn't turn out to be true. I probably should have used other words. Wouldn't that be the quality person who would say? I'm interested in the quality of Harry Reid here.

EHRLICH: I don't disagree with you on that on either side. I would love to see that from all politicians.

O'REILLY: Yes. Because he comes across as a slimy weasel with his dark glasses saying CNN he doesn't regret it and Romney lost so that justifies him misleading the entire country and using his powerful position, position that President Obama knowing what he did still continues to praise. This is disturbing to me as an American. I don't care about political parties as you guys know. This is disturbing. I don't want that kind of quality there.

TANTAROS: It is disturbing. And what's also disturbing is that at the time he did it so that Mitt Romney's taxes would be injected in the presidential debate. Now, look, did Mitt Romney handle that well? Not really because he didn't release his taxes right away. However, what this did, Bill, was he providing the media with a story line where they were able to say and they reported it as fact which you would never go, they floated gossip and hearsay as a real report even though it was unsubstantiated report.

O'REILLY: But I must say we did very very stringent research on that.

TANTAROS: I did too. I did too.

O'REILLY: And we didn't find even at MSNBC and these other uber uber left. We didn't find an embrace of that as they did in the other situations. They mentioned it. All right. But they didn't celebrate it because I think everybody knew it was bs.

TANTAROS: They didn't celebrate it however, two points quickly. I looked at two blogs, the Huffington Post ran with it as a headline.

O'REILLY: Yes, but you know --

TANTAROS: And what they did specifically. And I researched this too. What they did at CNN and MSNBC, Bill, they threw the accusation out there. And then they said, almost like well, we heard that he beats his wife. So, now it's time for him to show us that he didn't beat his wife.

O'REILLY: They all do it now. They all do it.

EHRLICH: That's just the nature of politics.

TANTAROS: You don't report a story when it's unsubstantiated and try and put the onus on somehow Mitt Romney to disprove something.

O'REILLY: That isn't true.

EHRLICH: Whether it's democrats or republicans. If you are a woman they question your skills and what you have done.

TANTAROS: No, they only do because the media --


O'REILLY: In general terms.

EHRLICH: Wealthy question your tax statements. If you are African- American they question if you were born out of the country or not.


O'REILLY: You are justifying Reid's behavior by appointing to anonymous bad behavior as I pointed out. And Andrea comes up with two specific examples of them, CNN and MSNBC taking the headline and saying, okay prove us wrong.

EHRLICH: -- on this network being birthers about whether he was born in this country, how many people -- what about swift-boating, and we could go historically back and back.

O'REILLY: No. The big mistake you are making so everybody knows.

EHRLICH: It doesn't mean it's right.

O'REILLY: Look, if somebody doesn't think that President Obama's birth certificate is real, it doesn't matter. It's like graffiti on a wall somewhere. But if the head of the Senate goes up and lies on the floor, that matters.

TANTAROS: That's right.

O'REILLY: Okay. Good debate, ladies. Nice to see you.

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