Romney and the Bush Tax Cuts

Mitt Romney’s included a line in his stump speech that sounds odd for those people who paid attention to/suffered through the 2008 primary.

He accused Obama of having “layered on massive doses of uncertainty” for businesses by trying to end President Bush’s tax cuts, pushing a cap-and-trade energy policy, and passing health care reform. 

But wait! Romney started this fight with John McCain in 2007, and it didn’t go so well. McCain had voted against the 2003 Bush tax cuts. Romney , then governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take much of a stance, and Democrats in Washington who met with him (the delegation, from 1997 through 2010, was all Democratic) claimed that Romney was critical of the tax cuts.

Here was the Boston Globe article from that day, April 11, 2003. You decide.

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.

So he evaded the issue, and there’s nothing for a 2012 rival to pin him down on.