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In 2002 Romney's Spokesman Sounded A Lot Like Harry Reid

What is she hiding?

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Mitt Romney's top advisor and longtime confidant Eric Fehnrstrom didn't take kindly to unsourced allegations by Harry Reid that the former Massachusetts Governor hadn't paid any taxes for 10 years saying: "Have you no decency sir?"

"I don't think there is anything behind it. He hasn't produced any evidence," Fehrnstrom told Fox News yesterday. "I'm telling you speaking on behalf of the governor that those charges are untrue, they are baseless and there is nothing to back them up."

"This reminds me of the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s," Fehnstrom said.

It may also remind people in Massachusetts about something more recent. In fact, Fehrnstrom himself didn't always think the burden of proof fell on the accuser. In 2002, Mitt Romney's gubernatorial run Fehnrstrom was Romney's attack dog, hitting his opponent Shannon O’Brien for not releasing her husband’s tax returns.

Fehrnstrom accused O’Brien, who released her tax returns every year since 1998, of being disingenuous by releasing her but not her husband's returns, a former lobbyist who had worked with Enron implying the returns would show wrongdoing.

"Her hands aren't clean. She can't claim to be disclosing anything until she discloses the returns of her husband, the Enron lobbyist,” Fehnrstrom said. “Under Shannon O'Brien, the state Pension Board lost millions by buying Enron stock when it was collapsing -- what is she hiding?"

The O’Brien campaign called Fehrnstrom's charge a “desperate attack” and did not release any returns.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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