New York Senator Chuck Schumer called the controversy around the comment his colleague Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made on Mitt Romney's unreleased tax returns a distraction from the real issue at hand.
Reid said a source at Bain Capital (the firm Romney founded) told him the GOP presidential candidate did not pay taxes for 10 years. A charge that Romney denied.
Is Reid "off the reservation," or the "best weapon the Democrats have right now?" guest Donny Deutsch asked the senator on Morning Joe Friday.
"Please. Every day Mitt Romney has to talk about tax returns is a bad day for him and a good day for the Democrats," Schumer said. "They’re trying to focus this on Harry Reid. There’s an 800-pound elephant in the room. It’s called unreleased taxes. No president can run and not release their taxes. And guess what? The few things we know about Mitt Romney’s taxes—Cayman Islands, Swiss bank accounts—raise more questions than they answer.
"He should rip off the Band-Aid now," Schumer continued. "He should have done it two years ago."
Romney has said he won't release more of his tax information (he released one return and one estimate), because he fears Democrats will just twist the results, but others have suggested the candidate and his campaign might be hiding something more.
"They focus-grouped this already," said Morning Joe guest Van Jones, former President Obama adviser and author of Rebuild the Dream. "They know for sure that when they release these returns that it’s a disaster for him. They have made a bet…that no matter how much damage they pick up for not giving these returns over, they are going to be better off than they would be telling the truth. Otherwise they would have done it."