Accuracy in Media

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz appeared on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. Despite being given ample opportunity to repudiate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for accusing Mitt Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years, she chose instead to criticize Romney for not releasing more of his personal tax returns.

This Week host George Stephanopoulos called Reid’s charge explosive and played the clip of Reid making that accusation on the Senate floor. He then asked Wasserman-Schultz if it was appropriate for him to make such a charge based solely on an anonymous source.

Wasserman-Schultz responded by saying that she didn’t know who Reid’s source is, but that Romney could clear this up right away by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave McCain in 2008, when he was being vetted for vice president.

Stephanopoulos gave Wasserman-Schultz a golden opportunity to enhance her own image by repudiating Reid, but she instead used it to lay the blame on Romney.

Stephanopoulos: He hasn’t, but he has denied that he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years. And I take your point that it would be right to show more tax returns. At the same time, I don’t believe that you believe that it’s OK to make a charge like that, 10 years of not paying taxes, with no evidence.

Schultz: Like I said, I don’t know whose Harry Reid’s source was, but I do know that this is a question that has swirled around Mitt Romney for this entire campaign. I do know that he could clear it up just like that, lickety-split, by releasing his tax returns, which every major candidate for president of the United States has done except for Mitt Romney. I do know that there are massive questions about why he has a Swiss bank account, why he has investments in the Cayman Islands and a Bermuda corporation that he has transferred to his wife’s name one day before he became governor of Massachusetts.

Those are questions that when you’re running for president of the United States, that the American people deserve answers to. Why is Mitt Romney refusing to answer them? Why is he refusing to show the American people what he was willing to show John McCain 23 years of information on? There’s got to be a reason.

Stephanopooulos: I take it from your answer you’re not going to repudiate Senator Reid’s charge.

Schultz: Everybody is responsible for saying the things that they have information on. Harry Reid says that he has a credible source. I know that this question is not just generated by Harry Reid. It’s been asked by countless reporters, by voters that want to know–

Stephanopoulos: Not this question, Congresswoman, do you stand by Harry Reid’s charge?

When Wasserman-Schultz launched into another anti-Romney tirade, Stephanopoulos finally gave up trying to get a straight answer out of her.

Wasserman-Schultz was so caught up with her Democratic talking points on Romney that she failed to realize that when even a liberal like Stephanopoulos finds Reid’s comments unfounded and objectionable, it might be a good idea to disavow them for the good of the party.

While Stephanopoulos allowed Wasserman-Schultz to ramble on too much against Romney, he deserves credit for repeatedly trying to get her to answer his questions and exposing her for being nothing more than a partisan hack.





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