Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney has pushed an ambitious and expensive tax-cut plan, which he's admitted would benefit "the top one percent." Last week, the Republican candidate, hoping voters wouldn't know the difference, said in a debate, "I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans."
President Obama, Democrats, and those who accept reality have argued that Romney's trying to switch his position a month before the election. Yesterday, a Romney campaign surrogate agreed.
For those who can't watch clips online, here's the exchange between Robert Gibbs and Newt Gingrich:
GIBBS: Standing on the stage with you in Arizona, this is what Mitt Romney said, 'Number one, I said today we're going to cut taxes on everyone across the country -- across the country by 20 percent including the top one percent.' Mister Speaker, you mentioned that your opponent, Mitt Romney, had a problem with being dishonest in the primary. My question is, was he dishonest when he said that?GINGRICH: I think it's clearly changed.GIBBS: We don't disagree that he changed.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Gingrich concede the point, but let's not lose sight of the bigger picture: this was a Romney campaign surrogate admitting on "Meet the Press" that the Romney campaign's line isn't true. Gingrich has been an awkward surrogate for months, but to see him endorse the Democratic line on a key issue on national television is an interesting twist.
Gingrich added that Romney's claim was "good politics," even if it contradicts Romney's policy. That, too, is a curious thing to say out loud -- lying is fine so long as it helps a candidate win?