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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that President Obama hasn't expressed an opinion to him on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) persistent claims that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for a decade.

Asked repeatedly at his daily briefing, Carney said Reid "certainly speaks for himself" and referred additional questions to the Democratic leader's office. He said Obama believes in the tradition of presidential hopefuls releasing a series of tax returns to the public.

Republicans have aggressively pushed back and called Reid a liar, noting that he has not yet provided evidence. Obama campaign officials and top Democrats have stood by Reid's claim -- he says he learned of it from an as-yet-unnamed Bain Capital investor.

After Republicans let loose against Harry Reid on Sunday for claiming Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years, the Senate majority leader's chief of staff returned the favor.

"They’re a bunch of cowards, and they’re avoiding the issue," David Krone told Politico. "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."

Krone defended his boss, saying Reid merely repeated "the fact of what he was told. To turn it around, all their childish rants this weekend about calling Reid a 'liar' and all that, it just shows you how scared they are that Harry Reid was telling the truth."

According to Politico, Krone knows who the source of Reid's claims is -- he has declined to publicly identify the individual but says it's a successful investor to Bain familiar with Romney's tax records.

On the Sunday talk shows, Republicans expressed outrage over Sen. Harry Reid's (D-NV) unsubstantiated claim that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years, flatly accusing the Senate majority leader of lying.

On ABC's "This Week," an incensed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Reid a "dirty liar," saying he "complains about people with money but lives in the Ritz Carlton here down the street."

"It's ridiculous, it's wrong, it's untrue, and it's just going to hurt the president," he said of the claim, accusing President Obama of inciting "division and hatred." Watch the video of his remarks:

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On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs conceded that President Obama has not achieved the political unity he promised as a candidate, but blamed Republicans.

"Well, he's not gotten consensus, Candy, because it is hard to get consensus when the other side of the aisle has no desire at all to build consensus," he said.

Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs on Sunday defended Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for repeatedly claiming -- without evidence -- that Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes for 10 years.

"We don't know that" Romney didn't do anything wrong, Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We do know that the one tax return that he did put out -- we found out that he had a Swiss bank account that was not on his financial disclosure. We do know that he has used not releasing his tax returns to hide where his money is."

"It's a time honored tradition that presidential candidates release their tax returns," he added.

Gibbs dodged several questions about whether the Obama campaign would ask Reid to stop making the claims. He instead insisted that Romney must be hiding something by refusing to release additional returns.

"Have you ever seen anybody go to such great lengths to not put something out? And when you generally don't put something out, isn't it because you're generally hiding something?" he said.

In an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Mitt Romney declined to offer any hints on his selecting a vice president.

"I have nothing for you on the vice presidential front," he said. "I give you nothing on that. But I can assure you that by the third day of the Republican convention, we will nominate a Republican VP."

In a CNN interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Mitt Romney said he's concerned about the middle class and poor, not the very wealthy.

"I know the very wealthy are going to do just fine -- whoever's elected," he said. "The middle class -- that's the group of people I'm most concerned about, they need our help -- and the poor -- they need our help with good jobs."

In an interview with CNN that aired Sunday, Mitt Romney defended his claim that he would create 12 million jobs in 4 years if elected president.

"That's what happens in a normal process -- when you come out of a kind of recession we've had, you should see this kind of job creation," he said on "State of the Union." "We should be seeing 2-3-400,000 jobs per month to regain much of what's been lost. That's what normally happens after a recession. But under this president, we have not seen that kind of pattern."

He claimed President Obama wants to give more money to government.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for his repeated statements over the last week that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes for 10 years.

"I actually like Harry. But what he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he's lying about his statement -- knowing something about Romney's [taxes]," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think he's created an issue here. I think he's making things up at a time when the country is just about to fall apart."

"And I just can't let that pass. I just cannot believe that the majority leader of the United States Senate would take the floor twice, make accusations that are absolutely unfounded in my view, and quite frankly making things up to divert the campaign away from the real issues."

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