Romney lying about his tax record (update)

Update: The Boston Herald wrote about Romney’s lousy record on this stuff this morning.

According to Bloomberg, Romney has been so butchered on his flip-flopping on social issues, that now he wants to talk about economic issues. There his strategy seems to be to just lie rather than flip-flop.

Mitt Romney said the other day:

McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, Romney noted.

I supported them,” the former governor said.

Like most things that Mitt Romney says now about his record as governor, it just isn’t true. I refer you to an AP article from 2003, at the end of the post. (H/T Romney is Fraud).

We will begin with Barney Frank’s praise of Mitt Romney for standing up to George Bush:

"I was very pleased," Frank said afterward. "Here you have a freshman governor refusing to endorse a tax cut presented by a Republican president at the height of his wartime popularity."

Agreeing on tax policy with Barney Frank is not usually how one runs to the right, but Mitt Romney is smarter than the rest of us… Need to keep reading? There’s more:

According to the observer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Romney told the delegation that he "won’t be a cheerleader" for proposals he doesn’t agree with, "but I have to keep a solid relationship with the White House."

Shawn Feddeman, Romney’s spokeswoman, said the governor has neither endorsed nor opposed the tax cut plan because "it’s just not a state matter."

However, while President Bush was pushing for tax cuts, without Romney’s "cheerleading", Romney was open to tax increases:

In addition to refusing to endorse the president’s tax cut, the governor surprised several people at the meeting by saying he is open to a federal increase in gas taxes. "He wants it dedicated to transportation construction," Capuano said.

I don’t suppose that will make it into his speech today… For nearly everything that Romney says he is for now, you will  find him saying the opposite. And for nearly everything that he says about his record, you will find that it is false. Lexis is your friend.

ROMNEY WEIGHS IN – CAREFULLY – ON BUSH TAX-CUT PLAN GOVERNOR WON’T GIVE HIS ENDORSEMENT The Boston Globe April 11, 2003, Friday

Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company  

The Boston Globe


April 11, 2003, Friday ,THIRD EDITION


METRO/REGION; Pg. A3

842 words

ROMNEY WEIGHS IN – CAREFULLY – ON BUSH TAX-CUT PLAN GOVERNOR WON’T GIVE HIS ENDORSEMENT


By Wayne Washington, and Glen Johnson, Globe Staff


WASHINGTON – Governor Mitt Romney refused yesterday to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush’s economic program, but he told members of the state’s congressional delegation during a private meeting he also would not oppose the cuts because he has to maintain "a solid relationship" with the White House.


Meeting with the all-Democratic group of House and Senate members for the first time in Washington, D.C., the Republican governor found himself challenged as the group talked about the state’s $3 billion budget gap for its coming fiscal year, as well as the Bush administration’s recent decision not to include Massachusetts in a $100 million round of federal antiterrorism funding.


   Representative Barney Frank of Newton asked the governor whether he had spoken against the $726 billion worth of tax cuts the president is currently pushing at the federal level. Coming on top of $1.6 trillion worth of tax cuts in 2001, Democrats argue that the next round will expand the budget deficit, drain the US Treasury of money for social programs, and prevent the federal government from assisting states facing revenue losses caused by the downturn in the economy.


Romney said he had not publicly opposed the cuts, according to one observer at the meeting, prompting Frank to ask, "Will you?" Romney replied that he probably would not. The answer triggered laughter in what both sides described as an otherwise bipartisan session.


"I was very pleased," Frank said afterward. "Here you have a freshman governor refusing to endorse a tax cut presented by a Republican president at the height of his wartime popularity."


According to the observer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Romney told the delegation that he "won’t be a cheerleader" for proposals he doesn’t agree with, "but I have to keep a solid relationship with the White House."


Shawn Feddeman, Romney’s spokeswoman, said the governor has neither endorsed nor opposed the tax cut plan because "it’s just not a state matter."


Underscoring Romney’s delicate task, his next stop after leaving Capitol Hill was the White House, where he spent over two hours attending meetings with, among others, Andrew H. Card Jr., the chief of staff; Karl Rove, senior counselor to the president; and Ken Mehlman, the president’s political adviser.


Despite speculation that the administration may try to use Romney to counter Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts as Kerry seeks the Democratic presidential nomination, the governor said, "any mention of Senator Kerry was just a passing reference and a little humor."


"Our meetings were not political in nature," the governor said in an interview.


Asked whether he might assume the role of a surrogate campaigner for the president, Romney said: "I see my role as helping do a good job for the people of Massachusetts, and so I’m not going to be playing a political role outside of that."


Instead, Romney said, he spent the bulk of his time lobbying to get Massachusetts included in the next round of federal antiterrorism funding. He also discussed the formula for distributing the money to the states, an issue he must deal with in his new role as the Republican cochairman of the National Governors Association homeland security committee. After his session at the White House, Romney headed for a meeting with Tom Ridge, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and a session with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.

Romney believes states should funnel the money to their cities and towns based on need, rather than the federal government distributing it based on a formula predicated on population or some other index. "I would like to see it go to cities like Chelsea and Everett, which have major homeland security needs, as opposed to communities of similar population without the same homeland security needs," the governor said. Chelsea is next to Logan International Airport, while Everett is home to massive Distrigas liquid natural gas tanks.


Since taking office in January, Romney has been reluctant to voice support or opposition to the president’s tax cut proposals. As he emerged from the delegation meeting yesterday, he again refused to be specific. "I very much support an economic stimulus," he said. "An economic stimulus is a good thing for Massachusetts."


Pressed further, he said, "I don’t wade into national politics. I will let our delegation sort that out."


Representative Michael Capuano of Somerville, one of the state’s 12 members of Congress, said he understands the governor’s caution. "That strikes me as politically smart for the benefit of the Commonwealth," Capuano said. "He is, after all, the only Republican in the delegation, so to speak."


In addition to refusing to endorse the president’s tax cut, the governor surprised several people at the meeting by saying he is open to a federal increase in gas taxes. "He wants it dedicated to transportation construction," Capuano said.