The Washington Times - August 6, 2012, 01:21PM

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu accused the Obama administration on Monday of masterminding recent attacks by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid against Mitt Romney’s tax record.

Mr. Sununu, a Romney surrogate and former chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, said during a Monday morning interview on Fox News that he thinks the Obama campaign pushed Mr. Reid to float allegations last week that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee went 10 years without paying taxes.

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“He was encouraged to do stuff like this by [Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod], by the president and by the White House,” Mr. Sununu said. “This is the way they operate. It is Chicago-style, gutter politics.”

Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has said the claim came from a reliable anonymous source, but he has been sharply criticized by Republicans who have accused him of launching a witch hunt to shame Mr. Romney into releasing past tax returns.

Presidential candidates typically release returns going several years back, but Mr. Romney has only release a 2010 tax return and an estimated 2011 return, which Democrats argue is a sign that he is trying to hide his financial history from the public.

Mr. Sununu, who often does interviews on behalf of the Romney campaign, has been one of its most outspoken surrogates. He made waves last month by blasting Mr. Obama’s economic policies and saying that he wished the president “would learn how to be an American.”