On Sunday's World News, ABC's senior Washington editor, Rick Klein, found it to be a "wildly unsubstantiated" and "irresponsible" claim for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to accuse Mitt Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years. He also asserted that Republicans are "taking the bait" by responding, suggesting that there is a "big risk" for the GOP in doing so.
After anchor David Muir played clips from ABC's This Week show of RNC chairman Reince Priebus attacking Reid as a "dirty liar" and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz trying to defend the Senate Democratic Leader, Muir posed the question:
Even Democrats having trouble defending Harry Reid's comments on this, but why would Republicans even entertain Harry Reid's comments? Isn't that what the Democrats want here?
They are taking the bait. Harry Reid is making a wildly unsubstantiated allegation, but Harry Reid is doing exactly what Democrats want him to be doing. It may feel good for Republicans to be blasting away at him, but there is a big risk in responding because it elevates an irresponsible assertion.
So you have Republicans complaining about campaign tactics. Democrats, meanwhile, are talking about what they want to be focused on, which is Mitt Romney's taxes. They'd much rather be talking about that than the Obama economy. So Romney's challenge is going to be to change the subject, and fast.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center