Matt Yglesias tweeted yesterday "Harry Reid plays the game like a Republican, the rest of the party doesn't always catch on...?"
I assume Matt is referring to Harry's baseless allegation from an unnamed source "close to Bain" that Mitt Romney paid no federal income taxes for a period of 10 years. I use the word baseless because Reid offers only his word that he was told this by someone Reid assures has personal knowledge of Mitt's taxes.
I tweeted yesterday my disapproval and pointed to The Daily Show's slam of Reid for this remark.
The reason I disliked Reid's remark is because it was exactly the kind of cheap bullshit Republicans like to throw at Democrats. It pisses me off when Republicans do it and it pisses me off when Democrats do it.
Right or wrong, Reid has gotten exactly the kind of play he wanted. An allegation no mainstream reporter would publish for being unsubstantiated is now headline news. Comically (or tragically) Dana Bash on CNN had a follow-up story claiming that her anonymous source says Harry Reid's anonymous source is a Bain investor and credible person in a position to know that Mitt Romney did not pay income taxes for 10 years.
And now today. In a rare press conference this morning, Mitt Romney has dignified Reid's baseless accusation with a classic non-denial denial, to wit, “I have paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes. So Harry is simply wrong.”
The Romney campaign is in way over their heads -- Rupert Murdoch was right -- and Harry Reid has scored a solid blow to Romney's ribs.