At a campaign stop in Ohio last week, Mitt Romney, unprompted, accidentally told the truth. The Republican candidate conceded that President Obama "did not" raise taxes "in his first four years."
In a new attack ad, however, Romney says the opposite.
For those who can't watch clips online, here's the script: "Who will raise taxes on the middle class? Barack Obama and the liberals already have. To pay for government-run healthcare, you'll pay higher taxes and more for your medicine. And their plan includes a trillion dollars in higher taxes. Even on the middle class. Mitt Romney and common-sense conservatives will cut taxes on the middle class. And they'll close loopholes for millionaires. Obama and his liberal allies? We can't afford four more years."
Over the course of 30 seconds, we see an image of the president and Nancy Pelosi three times -- suggesting those in Republican focus groups reacted negatively to the former House Speaker. It also struck me as amusing that Romney is now eager to say he'll "close loopholes for millionaires," as if his agenda isn't tilted heavily towards his fellow elites.
On the substance, the notion that the Affordable Care Act is "government-run healthcare" is a blatant lie, and the idea that it's a middle-class tax increase is ridiculously untrue. Indeed, the entire crux of the policy argument here is simply incoherent, especially when one realizes Obama's national policy mirrors Romney's Massachusetts law.
But even if one puts all of that aside, there's still the small matter of Romney vs. Romney. Seven days ago, the GOP candidate was certain Obama didn't raise taxes. Today, he's certain Obama did raise taxes.
Does Romney not remember his own rhetoric, or does he assume voters just aren't paying attention?