A couple of weeks ago, ABC News' David Muir asked Mitt Romney if he'd ever paid less than 13.9 percent in taxes, as famously alleged by Harry Reid and his unnamed Republican Bain investor who is not Jon Huntsman Sr. "I haven’t calculated that,” Romney replied. “I’m happy to go back and look, but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law.” It sounded like a brush-off, and pretty much nobody — including the Obama campaign's press secretary — actually expected Romney to follow through.
But Mitt Romney did "go back and look," at least according to the unbiased avouchment of Mitt Romney. At a media availability in South Carolina this afternoon, Romney told reporters that he hasn't paid less than 13 percent in taxes (presumably income taxes) at any time over the past ten years:
Of course, there is no way to verify his assertion, because Romney won't release his taxes for some unkown reason. He's like a guy trying to rent an apartment who refuses to submit to a credit check, but instead tells the landlord, "Just trust me, the credit's great." That guy would not get the apartment, although Romney may very well get the White House.
But even assuming it's true — and just to be clear, we consider it vastly more likely that Romney is telling the truth than Reid/Reid's source is telling the truth — it hardly makes the mystery surrounding Romney's tax-return secrecy moot. All it means is that his tax rate is not the thing that Romney is terrified of showing to the American public.