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Sen. Kerry: Romney trying to 'perpetrate a fraud' with tax plan

“Mitt Romney was, in my judgment, petulant. He was characteristically misleading,” Kerry said Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe." “Mitt Romney is trying to perpetrate a fraud on the American people.” 

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Democrats have hammered Romney for saying he’d reduce taxes by 20 percent across the board but not saying what deductions and loopholes he’d eliminate to make up for the revenue shortfall. Critics speculate that Romney would eliminate some deductions that are popular among the middle class, like the mortgage interest deduction.

At the debate Tuesday night, Romney said he would give taxpayers a fixed amount of money to deduct, and they could choose which deductions they take so long as it comes in under that amount.

But Romney’s primary argument has been that the details will have to be worked out with Congress once he takes office, saying that unlike President Obama, he’ll reach across the aisle.

Kerry said this approach is disingenuous.

“He’s trying to fake it to the American people because he doesn’t want to tell you about the home mortgage, doesn’t want to tell you about the college credit, doesn’t want to tell you about the state and local taxes, so he fakes it,” he continued. “The man running for the presidency of the United States of America on the central issue of our time ... I find it stunning — it’s, to me, disqualifying.”

Kerry is Obama’s debate partner, standing in as Romney for practice during the president's prep sessions.

“It was quite an experience,” Kerry said. “I've decided the next week I need to have an exorcism of Romney out of my being.”