At a campaign rally in Arizona on Wednesday, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addressed a crowd of supporters. He made remarks about his tax plan which sounded suspiciously more liberal progressive minded than anything else: (bolding is mine)
“I am going to lower rates across the board for all Americans by 20%. And in order to limit any impact on the deficit, because I do not want to add to the deficit, and also in order to make sure we continue to have progressivity as we’ve had in the past in our code, I’m going to limit the deductions and exemptions particularly for high income folks.”
“And by the way, I want to make sure you understand that, for middle income families, the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will continue. But for high income folks, we are going to cut back on that, so we make sure the top 1% pay the current share they’re paying or more.”
Did Mr. Romney just hire a Democratic operative to write his campaign speeches for him or did he forget that he was running in a Republican primary?
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum accused Romney of being aligned with the “Occupy” movement for putting forth this tax proposal that day at the debate on Wednesday. Mr. Romney is more than likely to win the state of Arizona given his current poll numbers there right now, but speeches like this will leave primary voters scratching their heads in other state contests.
Robert Costa at National Review is reporting that Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, has called Mr. Romney’s plan a “winner.” Costa writes:
To win in November, Toomey, who has not endorsed a presidential contender, says Republicans must have a strong, simple tax-reform message. Romney’s 20 percent across-the-board cut on individual tax rates, he says, provides a snappy, “supply side” blueprint.
Senator Toomey may not have been aware of the extra “top one percent” caveat that Gov. Romney added in recently when he was quoted, but that remains to be found out later.
Mr. Toomey was also critical of Mr. Santorum’s tax plan. So much for Santorum supporters who are holding out hope that Sen. Toomey would ever forgive Santorum for passing him over to endorse Senator Arlen Specter in 2004 instead.