If you thought the discourse in Washington couldn’t get any worse, it just did. Yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a “dirty liar.”
Priebus offered his opinion on Reid’s character after Stephanopoulos asked him to comment on Reid’s assertion that someone told him Romney did not pay any taxes for ten years. After Reid first launched his tax attack on Romney, The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart said, “Here’s a rule of thumb: if you have to follow your claim with the words I don’t know if that’s true,’ then shut up.” Stewart later added, “You, Harry Reid, are terrible.”
But Reid has done anything but shut up. Instead he has doubled down on his charge, even expanding the number of his anonymous sources. In a call with Nevada reporters Reid claimed that “a number of people” have told him Romney does not pay taxes. “I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid insisted.
Priebus was not the only Republican to use the ‘L’ word on Sunday. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CNN’s State of the Union of Reid, “What he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he’s lying about his statement of knowing something about Romney.”
For his part, Reid seems perfectly happy playing the role of Obama attack dog. His chief of staff, David Krone, told Politico yesterday, “Lindsey Graham, Reince Priebus – they’re a bunch of henchmen for Romney and they’re all reading off the same talking points. They couldn’t hold a candle to Harry Reid.” In other words, expect more wild accusations from Reid soon.
Obama: The New York Times reports that Obama has spent more campaign cash more quickly than any incumbent in history. The Washington Post reports that senior White House adviser accepted $100,000 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government.
Romney: Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $101.3 million in July and have approximately $185.9 cash on hand. The Romney campaign is also attacking Obama for arguing in a legal brief that it is “arbitrary” and unconstitutional to provide three extra days of early, in-person voting to military voters and their families. Obama was not suing Ohio to end early military voting, only to extend the same early voting benefits they get to everyone else in Ohio.
In Other News
The New York Times, Fearing an Impasse in Congress, Industry Cuts Spending: A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off new hires because they fear paralysis in Washington will force hundreds of billions in tax increases and budget cuts in January, undermining economic growth in the coming months.
The Washington Post, Obama administration struggles to live up to its transparency promise: In its first year, the Obama administration vowed an increase in transparency across government, including through the Freedom of Information Act, the proactive release of documents and the establishment of an agency to declassify more than 370 million pages of archived material. Three years later, new evidence suggests that administration officials have struggled to overturn the long-standing culture of secrecy in Washington.
The New York Times, As Libor Fault-Finding Grows, It Is Now Every Bank for Itself: Major banks, which often band together when facing government scrutiny, are now turning on one another as an international investigation into the manipulation of interest rates gains momentum.
Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes make the case for Romney to pick Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Jay Nordlinger makes the case for Romney to pick Rob Portman as his running mate.
John Boot identifies the five most politically incorrect ideas in The Dark Knight Rises.
Jonathan Chait berates Washington elites for accepting “mass unemployment.”
Nate Silver says the latest jobs report changes nothing.
Andrew Rosenthal predicts Romney’s challenge to Reid to “put up or shut up” will backfire on him.