By Jonathan Easley - 10/05/12 12:57 AM EDT
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan turned their fire on Vice President Joe Biden at a joint rally in Fishersville, Va., Thursday night, pouncing on Biden’s remark earlier in the day, when he inartfully said he would allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire.
At a campaign event earlier in the day, Biden said the Obama administration wanted to reduce the burden on the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthy, a take on the Obama campaign’s “everyone should pay their fair share” message.
“You know the phrase they always use?,” Biden asked. “Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars. Guess what? Yes we do, in one regard. We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bare the burden of all that money going to the super wealthy.”
Romney also hit Biden over the remark.
“The vice president blurted out the truth today,” he said. “They plan on raising taxes on the American people and that will kill jobs. I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody.”
Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner told The Hill in an e-mail that the Republican challengers “can do nothing but blindly attack an honest, consistent position when they see it.”
“After Mitt Romney’s blatant dishonesty about his policies last night, it’s no surprise that he and Paul Ryan can do nothing but blindly attack an honest, consistent position when they see it. The Vice President – like the overwhelming majority of the American people – believes we should ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share like they did under President Clinton so that we can pay down our deficit and make the investments in education, energy, and innovation that will grow our economy. Unfortunately for Romney and Ryan, who would prefer to give additional tax cuts to the wealthiest by raising taxes on the middle class and slashing critical investments, those are the facts – and they’re on the wrong side of them.”
Obama seemed to be knocked off message in the early stages of Wednesday’s debate, as taxes, and an aggressive Romney, dominated the opening segments.
Romney defended his tax plan after facing repeated claims from Obama that it would hurt the middle class and explode the deficit.
But on Thursday, Obama came out swinging, saying had changed his tax policies at the last minute. The Obama campaign seems to be returning to an old line of attack against Romney, accusing him of changing sides on important issues.
“We had our first debate last night,” Obama said at an outdoor event at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver on Thursday. “When I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country all year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy. The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.”
Still glowing from what many viewed as a debate triumph, the Virginia rally was Romney’s first post-debate appearance. He got another boost ahead of the rally, albeit an unsurprising one, when the National Rifle Association endorsed him for president.
Both Romney and Ryan touted their Second Amendment bona fides in light of the endorsement, with Ryan saying he couldn’t wait to unseat Obama so he could take his daughter deer hunting.
Ryan also reminded the crowd of the president's remark four years ago that some voters are "clinging to their guns and religion."
“Guilty as charged,” Ryan proclaimed.