Dems accuse Boehner of 'whiplash' on taxes

Democrats sought to give House GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) grief on taxes, framing him as having had to quickly reverse course after signaling openness to compromise on the issue.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) released a new video going after its new favorite target, Boehner, over his position on tax cuts expiring at the end of the year.

The video casts Boehner as suffering "whiplash" from when he suggested on Sunday that, given no other choice, he might support an extension of the tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year that didn't include an extension for the highest tax bracket.

Boehner's office has pointed out that the GOP leader also said at that time that he opposed letting the tax cuts expire for top earners, as Democrats want for households making over $250,000 and individuals earning more than $200,000 per year.

Boehner has since restated that position again, emphasizing that he and other Republicans support extending all the tax cuts, and have pressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to allow an up-or-down vote to extend all the tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest.

It's the perceived shift upon which Democrats are seizing. After the White House and Democratic committees welcomed Boehner's words on Sunday, they are now accusing him of reneging on taxes.

“This guy wants to be Speaker? Being in leadership requires having a spine, yet one day John Boehner says he will support middle-class tax cuts and the next day he reneges on that promise after being taken to the woodshed by conservative pundits and members of his own party," said DNC press secretary Brandi Hoffine. "It’s enough to give you whiplash.”

"Republicans are 100-percent committed to stopping all of the tax hikes – it’s Democrats like Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, DCCC Chairman Van Hollen, and a growing chorus of rank-and-file Members, who can’t get on the same page," shot back Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. "Republicans are standing with the American people, who know that raising taxes on families and small businesses in a struggling economy is just dumb.  Almost as dumb as this DNC ad.”

Updated 3:09 p.m.