By Justin Sink
Mitt Romney said Sunday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that he would not support any deal struck by the supercommittee that included new taxes, even if it meant trading limited tax increases now for the assurance that the Bush tax cuts would become permanent.
"I believe the right answer is cutting taxes, so I will not endorse any plan that raises revenues, raises taxes," Romney said, according to Fox News.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) had proposed such a plan earlier this week, but his proposal - which would have raised around $300 billion by closing tax loopholes in exchange for nearly $700 billion in spending cuts - was denounced by many on the right, including anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
"There will be a lot of give and take of proposals made and yet I will not support any proposal based upon increasing taxes or revenues. I will support proposals reducing spending," Romney said.
Romney also defended himself from charges that he had not actively explained what he would like to see out of the supercommittee, tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. If the supercommittee fails to reach an agreement by their Nov. 23 deadline, as sources indicate it will, automatic cuts to the military and healthcare budgets will be imposed.
"I pretty much go across the country every day talking about what I would do to balance the budget," Romney said, arguing that Congress should "rein in excessive spending in the current budget and reform Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security to make them prominently sustainable."
Romney also defended his campaign's strategy of limiting time in Iowa, the first nominating contest. The former Masachusettes governor skipped a birthday party for Iowa governor Terry Branstad earlier this week and the Family Leader forum, a Christian voters summit attended by all his primary opponents. His absence led to a critical comment from Branstad, who warned Romney about the repercussions of taking the caucuses too lightly. In 2008, Romney spent a considerable amount of time and money in Iowa, but ultimately placed second after eventual nominee John McCain.
"As we get closer to the caucuses and the primaries, you will see us visiting those states more, spending more time there, turning out more volunteers and being more active, because as we get closer to the election, not surprisingly we want people going to the polls to support us," Romney said.
But, Romney said, he wasn't going to lay out his strategy for his opponents. Romney has not gone up on air with any advertisements yet in the Hawkeye state, despite spending by his opponents.
"I would tell you, if you won't tell anybody," Romney joked to the media.