Friday, January 25, 2008


U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released a new web ad, entitled "Mittsurfing." The new ad comes in response to the Mitt Romney ad released tonight, entitled "Waltz," a false, misleading attack that distorts John McCain's record.
McCain campaign Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker issued the following statement on the new web ad:
"The flexibility of Mitt Romney's positions makes him a liability as a general election candidate. John McCain is a man of character and consistency, and he is the only candidate who can beat the Democrats in November."


Script For "Mittsurfing" (:30-Web):
ANNCR: Mitt Romney says he's a leader, but how do we know which direction he wants to lead?
Mitt Romney seems to change positions like the wind.
He tells Florida he supports the Bush tax cuts.
But as Massachusetts Governor, Romney refused to take a position on the Bush tax cuts and then increased taxes by $700 million, but tried to call them fees.'
Where does Mitt Romney stand?
Whichever way the wind blows.


Mitt Romney Refused To Endorse The Bush Tax Cuts And His Higher Taxes And Fees Eliminated The Benefits Of Those Tax Cuts For Many Massachusetts Residents
Boston Herald: Romney "Refused To Take A Position On Bush's Massive, 10-Year Tax Cut Plan." "[R]omney spoke at the 10th annual legislative conference organized by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) and met with the Massachusetts delegation. ... Congressional sources said that a point of contention arose when Romney refused to take a position on Bush's massive, 10-year tax cut plan. Lawmakers told him that the state is unlikely to get the additional homeland security funds they and the governor are requesting because the money will go to the tax cut. But Romney would not discuss the matter, sources said." (Noelle Straub, "Romney Talks Policy With Bush Staffers, Mass. Delegation," The Boston Herald, 4/11/03)

· Romney Said He Wouldn't Be "Cheerleader" For Tax Relief Plan He Didn't Agree With. "According to the observer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Romney told the delegation that he 'won't be a cheerleader' for proposals he doesn't agree with, 'but I have to keep a solid relationship with the White House.'" (Wayne Washington and Glen Johnson, "Romney Weighs In -- Carefully -- On Bush Tax-Cut Plan," The Boston Globe, 4/11/03)

· Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Praised Romney For His Refusal To Endorse Bush Tax Cuts. FRANK: "I was very pleased [Romney did not endorse the tax cuts] Here you have a freshman governor refusing to endorse a tax cut presented by a Republican president at the height of his wartime popularity." (Wayne Washington and Glen Johnson, "Romney Weighs In -- Carefully -- On Bush Tax-Cut Plan," The Boston Globe, 4/11/03)

· Free-Market Beacon Hill Institute: Romney's Fee Increases "Not Only Diminish, But, For Some People, Even Eliminate" The Benefits Massachusetts Residents Received From President Bush's 2003 Tax Cuts. "If the Bush tax cuts revive the stalling economy they will do so in spite of the large fee increases levied by states across the U.S. with Massachusetts leading the way. If anything, these state fee increases not only diminish, but, for some people, even eliminate, the tax cuts passed by Congress and signed by the President." (Christopher Boyd, "Fees Put A Crimp On Tax Cuts," Beacon Hill Institute's NewsLink, Vol. 8, No. 1, Fall 2003)Mitt Romney Raised Taxes And Fees In Massachusetts By More Than $700 Million Per Year, Turning Massachusetts Back Into "Taxachusetts"

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation: More Than $700 Million Per Year In Increased Taxes And Fees Under Romney. "Fees and taxes have increased more than $700 million a year under Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, a leading budget specialist said yesterday. Michael J. Widmer -- president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which closely tracks state finances -- said the state has raised roughly $740 million to $750 million per year by increasing fees and corporate taxes gained from what the Romney administration describes as 'closing loopholes.'" (Brian Mooney, "Analyst Puts Increase In Fees, Taxes At $700m," The Boston Globe, 9/27/06)

· "[R]omney ... Approved Hundreds Of Millions In Higher Fees And Fines Including Raising The Cost Of Getting A Marriage License, Filing A Court Case, Buying A House Or Renewing A Drivers License." (Steve LeBlanc, "Romney, In Change Of Heart, Signs No-New-Taxes Pledge," The Associated Press, 1/5/07)

· "A 2003 Survey Of States By The National Conference Of State Legislatures Found Massachusetts Imposed At Least $501.5 Million In Fee Hikes, Far More Than Any Other State In The Nation That Year." (Steve LeBlanc, "Romney, In Change Of Heart, Signs No-New-Taxes Pledge," The Associated Press, 1/5/07)

· Cato Institute: Romney's Rhetoric On Taxes "Mostly A Myth." "[R]omney will likely also be eager to push the message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge. That's mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees. He later proposed $140 [million] in business tax hikes through the closing of 'loopholes' in the tax code." (Stephen Slivinski, "Fiscal Policy Report Card On America's Governors: 2006," Cato Institute, 2006, p. 26)

· The Boston Globe: Romney's Fee Increases "May Have Enhanced [Massachusetts'] Reputation As 'Taxachusetts.'" "This time it's fees, not taxes. Still, Massachusetts may have enhanced its reputation as 'Taxachusetts.' A survey of states grappling with spending crises has found that Massachusetts imposed more fee hikes than any other state in the nation this year -- at least $500 million. Governor Mitt Romney and the Legislature, faced with a multibillion dollar shortfall, made it more expensive to get a marriage license or a divorce, file a court case, buy a house, renew a driver's license, or tap into a host of other state services." (Rick Klein, "Mass. Is Called No. 1 In Fee Hikes," The Boston Globe, 7/24/03)

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