Well, people are certainly throwing trash out. Why? You better make your opponents stink before the Club for Growth meeting…
The problem for the Club for Growthers is that they are going to have to choose between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Both of these have gotten smeared with economic oppo.
Romney first. For Romney there is an article in the Hill about Romney’s economic record. The issue is:
Anti-tax advocates are scrutinizing Mitt Romney’s (R) record as governor of Massachusetts and focusing on the fact that he increased fees in the state by $500 million and proposed nearly $400 million in business tax increases.
The article also points out something that the Brownback team even put on their blog:
The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, published a fiscal-policy report card for 2006 that gave Romney a C grade, ranking him behind 11 other governors, including Democratic White House hopeful Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico.
And, of course, third, is the picture at my right… Romney said that tax cuts were lower priority than … campaign finance reform, among other things.
The competition for the mantle of top tax cutter could be crucial if antiabortion and other activists seek another champion, as many are threatening to do. "Giuliani has to be pro tax cuts….It is the only thing that would even keep him in the race," said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican strategist. The candidate has a record of endorsing gun control, gay rights and abortion rights. "If he went south on taxes, that would be the absolute ending," Mr. Fabrizio said.
I don’t completely agree with Fabrizio, precisely because Rudy is trying to transcend issues. But, Rudy is clearly pushing that, including in a radio ad in Georgia. And people are taking out the trash on Rudy. Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO is writing about it (here, here, and here). Even the NY Sun, Politico, NY Times, and the DNC are playing the game. (did I just repeat myself? NY Times and DNC … get it?) The basic allegation is that Rudy was against the Flat Tax before he was for it. And he had a poor spending record for a while.
Maybe it was right for John McCain to skip this after all….