By Bernie Becker - 09/25/12 10:53 PM EDT
Mitt Romney declared Tuesday that President Obama had not raised taxes during his current term, in the process undercutting one of his own campaign’s arguments against the president.
“I admit this, he has one thing he did not do in his first four years — he’s said he’s going to do in the next four years — which is to raise taxes,” Romney told a crowd in Ohio.
Obama campaigned on that plank in 2008, but, after the GOP wave in 2010, signed off on an extension of all current tax rates for another two years. The president has since said he will not agree to another extension of the top-end rates.
But Romney’s campaign and Republicans in general have sought to make the case that Obama has raised taxes in a variety of ways — a point reiterated by a Romney spokeswoman on Tuesday.
"President Obama has raised taxes on millions of middle-class Americans during his first term in office,” Amanda Henneberg, the spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Gov. Romney was clearly communicating about an additional tax increase President Obama is proposing on American small businesses.”
Just last week, the GOP latched on to a Congressional Budget Office finding that 6 million people will be forced to pay under the mandate in the Democratic healthcare overhaul — which the Supreme Court has ruled is a tax.
The healthcare law includes other taxes, such as on tanning-bed services and investment income for high earners. Obama also signed a tobacco tax increase shortly after entering the White House in 2009.
For his part, Obama has pushed back on the GOP narrative, declaring that he has cut taxes for the typical middle-class family.
“It's a lot of rhetoric, but there aren't a lot of facts supporting it,” Obama said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” recently. “Taxes are lower on families than they've been probably in the last 50 years. So I haven't raised taxes.”