For months, Mitt Romney has argued repeatedly that President Obama raised taxes. It’s not really true – Obama has cut taxes repeatedly – but it’s a standard line of attack.
Yesterday, unprompted, Romney was accidentally honest.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney, campaigning in Ohio, said in reference to the president, “His idea, now, he’s got one new, he’s got one new idea. I admit this, he has one thing he did not do in his first four years, he’s said he’s going to do in his next four years, which is to raise taxes.”
The Weekly Standard wasn’t pleased with Romney’s accidental honesty, which contradicted everything he’s been saying all year, leading the campaign to issue a statement saying Romney was “clearly communicating about an additional tax increase President Obama is proposing.”
First, the only thing Romney was “clearly communicating” was his belief that Obama didn’t raise taxes during his first term. If the candidate had been “clearly communicating” something else, this strange statement from his campaign office wouldn’t have been necessary.
Second, have you noticed how common it is for Romney to say something publicly, only to have his campaign follow soon after insisting that Romney meant the exact opposite of what he said?
Romney said he hadn’t met with Kris Kobach; Romney’s aides said he had. Romney said he intends to extend health care coverage to those with pre-existing conditions; Romney’s aides said he has no such intention. Romney said he has the same “red lines” as Obama when it comes to Iran; Romney’s aides said he has entirely different “red lines.” Romney said he would make an exception on an abortion ban for the health of the mother; Romney’s aides said the candidate would make no such exception.
And now Romney both believes and doesn’t believe that Obama raised taxes. With 41 days to go, the Republican campaign really should be sharper by now.