On Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Mitt Romney supporter (and former GOP rival in the Republican presidential primaries) Newt Gingrich admitted that Romney wasn’t telling the truth about his tax plan.
Ouch. Are even Republicans backing off the Romney tax spiel?
In the first presidential debate earlier this week, the president charged that Romney's plans called for a $5 trillion tax cut.
Romney has said he will cut taxes across-the-board and that his proposal would not harm the deficit, but would rather boost growth and revenues by eliminating loopholes.
“I’m not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I’ve said is I won’t put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit,” said Romney during Wednesday's debate.
The Obama campaign, however, says that Romney has failed to specify which loopholes and deductions he would target and that the plan would increase the tax burden on the middle class. The Obama campaign has shifted into a strategy of painting Romney in “lies, all lies” terms
The tax debate will rage on and will like be the centerpiece issue in the Thursday vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in Kentucky.
But do conservatives even think the Romney tax plan will work? When asked if Romney was being dishonest in the presidential debate, Gingrich said it was “clear” Romney ran away from the tax plan he has long promised on Wednesday night.
GINGRICH: I think you got to look carefully at how Romney structured, what he said is, something that frankly true supply siders don't necessarily love but it's good politics, he said, “I will close enough deductions that wealthy Americans will not get a net tax cut." Now, that's a pretty clear description.
Senior Obama Campaign Adviser Robert GIBBS: Let me just say this. 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, by 20%, including the top 1%.” Mr. 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 clear he changed.
GIBBS: So we don't disagree that he changed.
#Semantics, of course.
In a funny coincidence, Mitt Romney on Sunday also unveiled a new TV ad pushing back on Obama's claims the Republican challenger misrepresented the GOP ticket's tax reform plans in Wednesday's debate. This issue might become the top sound byte for both campaigns in this election.