The Mystery Deepens . . . Who is Harry Reid’s Secret Source?Posted: August 10, 2012
It’s been ten days since Harry Reid first revealed that an unnamed Bain investor told him that Mitt Romney had paid no taxes for a decade. Reid has been attacked by all and sundry–called a “dirty liar” by RNC Chair Reince Priebus, awarded four Pinocchios by WaPo “fact checker” Glenn Kessler, and repeatedly denounced by Romney himself.
Others have tried to figure out who Reid’s mysterious source is. Joseph Cannon has been on the case for awhile now. On Sunday, Cannon hypothesized that the source could have been former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Since then, Cannon has written several more follow-up posts.
Then yesterday, Markos at Dailykos suggested the source could be Jon Huntsman Sr.
Jon Huntsman Sr, is business partners with Robert C. Gay, who also happened to be Bain’s managing director between 1989 and 2004. And if anyone knows the machinations Bain used to evade taxes for itself and its partners, well, it would be the guy in charge of the firm’s finances.
Huntsman is also a Republican and a Mormon (like Harry Reid). As governor of next-door Utah, his son (who also served in the Obama administration as ambassador to China) likely developed a close working relationship on regional issues.
Kos also listed a number of donations from Huntsman family members to the Nevada Democratic Party. In a follow-up post today, Kos argued that Reid could be hoping to tempt his source into going public by dribbling out more hints day by day.
This afternoon, Greg Sargent contacted the elder Huntsman and asked him about all the rumors and speculation that he was Harry Reid’s source. Alas, Huntman denied it.
The internet is alive with speculation that the secret source Harry Reid claims to have on Mitt Romney’s tax returns is Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. He is the founder of Hunstman Corporation and the father of the former GOP presidential candidate — and the speculation is based on the fact that his profile fits with much of what we publicly know about Reid’s presumed confidante.
But I just got off the phone with Huntsman, and he confirmed to me that he is not Reid’s source.
But Huntsman did go on the record about Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns.
Huntsman forcefully called on Romney to release his tax returns. This matters, because Huntsman is a longtime backer of Romney — he has long been close to Romney; he supported his early campaigns; he was the national finance chairman of Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign; and he has raised a lot of money for him over the years. (He backed his own son in the latest GOP primary.)
“I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people,” Huntsman told me. In a reference to Romney’s father, who pioneered the release of returns as a presidential candidate, Huntsman said: “I loved George. He always said, pay your taxes for at least 10 or 12 years.” (See update below.)
“Mr. Romney ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate,” Huntsman said. “I’ve supported Mitt all along. I wish him well. But I do think he should release his income taxes.”
Well, that’s interesting and useful. This should keep the talk about Romney’s taxes alive through another weekend and another round of Sunday shows.
But the question remains: who *is* Reid’s secret source?
And here’s another burning question: Does Mitt Romney have a silly walk?