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Chaffetz: I look at the election ‘with Mitt Romney goggles on’

Admitting that he looks at the election “with Mitt Romney goggles on,” Chaffetz said that the 8 to 10 percent of independent voters will look at economic indicators — such as unemployment numbers and the deficit — and migrate to Romney.

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Speaking at the event, which focused on five things that will decide the 2012 election, Chaffetz said that there are reasons to like Obama. 

"I think the country likes President Obama — they like his family. They're inspirational. They're beautiful. They're happy people — the country likes that," he said.

Looking through a pair of Democratic goggles, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) echoed a common Democratic attack line on Romney that his tax plan will led provide cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

“Tax cuts for the wealthy are not free. They come at everyone else’s expense," Van Hollen said at the same event. "If you say that folks at the very top don’t have to contribute any more to deficit reduction, it means everybody else gets hit harder.”

Van Hollen, who headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, said Obama will be making the case that, in deficit reduction, “there is not a free lunch.”

“Fundamentally it comes down to this. Do you believe that the economy should be based on economic growth from the middle out where you actually empower more middle-income taxpayers to go out and be able to make a living and make ends meet. Or are you gonna go back to the trickle-down theory under the Bush administration which clearly failed. I mean we had a real-world experiment.”

The event, held at the Bipartisan Policy Center, featured additional panels on issues that will decide the 2012 election, including one on the economy and another on healthcare.