Obama campaign uses fight over payroll-tax cut to hit Romney

The Obama campaign is using the contentious payroll-tax debate to go after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

A video posted on the campaign website Wednesday called Romney out for not taking a stance on the issue, and for previously referring to the payroll tax holiday as a "temporary little Band-Aid."


“The House of Representatives rejected an important bipartisan proposal that would have prevented your taxes from going up at the end of the year,” Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said in the ad. “House Republicans made their position clear today in opposing this protection for working families. We don’t know where Mitt Romney stands.”

While both parties agree that the payroll tax should be extended for all of 2012, last week the Senate overwhelmingly voted to only extend it through February to give both sides more time to come to an agreement on how to pay for a longer-term extension. This week, House Republicans refused to vote on the Senate-passed two-month bill, saying the debate over how to pay for a yearlong tax holiday should happen now.

“At first [Romney] came out against the payroll tax cut, calling it a Band-Aid, even though it’s a thousand dollars more each year in your pocket. And then he came out for it when he realized that all of America needed this tax cut,” Cutter continued.

“But we don’t know where he stands today. Does he stand with the United States Senate ... including Mitt Romney’s own home-state Republican senator, who supported this clean extension of the middle-class tax cut? Or does he stand with House Republicans? We don’t know.”

Romney declined to weigh in on the tax debate while speaking to MSNBC on Wednesday, but he said the president was in “attack mode” and that was “not the way that a leader tries to get people to work together.”

The Obama campaign wants voters to tweet at Romney through the website to ask him where he stands on the issue.

This could be another indication that the Obama campaign believes Romney to be the biggest threat to the president in the 2012 election.

Although Romney is trailing either Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul in polls for three out of the first four early-voting states, the former Massachusetts governor fares the best in head-to-head match-ups against the president in national polls, and overtook Obama for the first time in a Public Policy Poll released on Tuesday.