Sen. Mike Johanns objects to the leader of the Senate bringing politics to the Senate floor.
Johanns says Senate leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, should not have raised questions about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s taxes during a speech on the Senate floor.
During a speech from the Senate floor, Reid stated that the “word’s out” that Romney hasn’t paid taxes for 10 years. Reid claimed that an investor at Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital, called his office with the tip that Romney “basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years.” Reid offered no proof and admitted he couldn’t be certain the claim was true.
Johanns comes to the defense of his fellow Republican.
“How does Mitt Romney refute that?” Johanns asks Kevin Thomas on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. “Sen. Reid won’t provide the name of the person who he claims gave him this information. He’s got nothing to back it up. It’s just a statement he made. I just think it’s unfortunate.”
As for Romney, he has refuted Reid’s claim, but has so far refused to release any tax returns beyond his 2010 return and his 2011 estimated return.
Johanns says Reid should not have used that platform to make an unsubstantiated claim.
“It kind of drives me nuts that you use the Senate floor in this way,” Johanns says. “Again, I think of the dozens of things we should be doing and talking about and debating and bills we should be amending and working on and here we are really talking about a political campaign, that’s admittedly important, but I just hate to see that kind of debate on the Senate floor.”
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Sen. Mike Johanns reacts to Senate leader Reid’s accusations against Romney on DTL. [2 min.]