Monday, January 28, 2008


McCain campaign Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker today issued the following statement on Governor Mitt Romney's attacks this morning on John McCain:

"Mitt Romney has proven in this campaign that he will say anything to anyone at any time if he thinks it will help him politically. His stunning capacity to reverse his position on virtually every issue casts serious doubt on his ability to lead. Floridians need to ask themselves: If he changes his position today, what prevents him from reversing himself again tomorrow?

"Just two years ago, Mitt Romney fully supported a 'cap and trade' system to deal with global climate change, saying, 'I'm convinced it is good business,' and citing its positive effect on development of technologies and economic growth. Today, desperate to attack John McCain in the heat of a political campaign, Mitt Romney has changed his position once again.

"As governor, Mitt Romney effectively raised gas taxes on every single motorist in Massachusetts, and in 2003 said he was open to an increase in the federal gas tax.

"At a time of grave national security challenges abroad and real economic uncertainty at home, now is not the time for leaders whose consistency is in question."

In 2005, Mitt Romney Supported "Cap And Trade" System, Saying It Would "Stimulate A Sector Of The Economy And At The Same Time Not Kill Jobs ... I'm Convinced It Is Good Business"

In 2005, Romney Endorsed Regional Cap And Trade System, Saying "This Is A Great Thing For The Commonwealth ... We Can Effectively Create Incentives To Help Stimulate A Sector Of The Economy And At The Same Time Not Kill Jobs. ... I'm Convinced It Is Good Business." "Governor Mitt Romney signaled his support yesterday for a regional agreement among Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite opposition from power companies and other business interests that have been lobbying the administration against the plan. In opening remarks to a clean-energy conference in Boston, Romney said the first-of-its-kind agreement, under which Massachusetts and eight other states could be required to cut power plant emissions by 2020, will not hurt the economy, as some have charged. He argued that it would spur businesses to develop clean -- and renewable-energy technology to market worldwide. 'This is a great thing for the Commonwealth,' Romney said, his strongest endorsement of the pact to date. 'We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs.' ... Romney said yesterday that he had some concerns about the agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but he endorsed this and other clean-energy initiatives by saying they would stimulate the development of technology that Massachusetts companies could sell to other states and countries, as the emphasis on climate change grows. 'I'm convinced it is good business,' Romney said." (Scott Helman, "Romney Favors Pact By States On Emissions," The Boston Globe, 11/8/05)

· "Central To [Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Supported By Romney] Is The Implementation Of A Multi-State Cap-And-Trade Program With A Market-Based Emissions Trading System." "The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is a cooperative effort by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions -- a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Climate change is expected to raise sea level, change precipitation and impact other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. To address this important environmental issue, the RGGI participating states will be developing a regional strategy for controlling e missions. This strategy will more effectively control greenhouse gases, which are not bound by state or national borders. Central to this initiative is the implementation of a multi-state cap-and-trade program with a market-based emissions trading system." (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Website,, 1/28/08)

Romney: "Now Is The Time To Take Action Toward Climate Protection ... Our Joint Work To Create A Flexible Market-Based Regional Cap And Trade System Could Serve As An Effective Approach To Meeting These Goals." "I concur that climate change is beginning to affect our natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward climate protection. ... I share your interest in ensuring that the economic and security contributions made by our electricity generating system are not negated by the impact of emissions from that system on the health of our citizens. ... Our joint work to create a flexible market-based regional cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach to meeting these goals." (Shaun Sutner, "Romney Joins Bid To Curb Em issions," Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 8/6/03)

On Same Day In 2005, Romney Supported, Then Opposed Northeast Regional Compact On Climate Change

Romney Initially Called Northeast Regional Compact To Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions "Good Business," Then Retracted His Support. "A group of Northeast states has postponed the announcement of a landmark agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants after Governor Mitt Romney raised objections to the pact late last week, two government sources familiar with the agreement said yesterday. ... News of the delay comes two weeks after Romney indicated his overall support for the initiative at a conference in Boston, calling it 'good business' because it would prompt Massachusetts companies to develop state-of-the-art clean-energy technology." (Beth Daley and Scott Helman, "Romney Doubts Seen Delaying Emissions Pact," The Boston Globe, 11/22/05)

Romney Changed Positions On Regional Agreement Within Span Of One Day. "At a clean-energy conference in Boston on Nov. 7, Romney sounded exuberant about the Northeast state agreement, saying in his speech that it was 'a great thing for the Commonwealth.' 'We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs,' he said. Later that day, however, Romney outlined to reporters several fears he had about the proposed agreement." (Beth Daley and Scott Helman, "Romney Doubts Seen Delaying Emissions Pact," The Boston Globe, 11/22/05)

Massachusetts' Participation Considered "Critical Component" In "Watershed Agreement To Combat Global Warming." "Though New York has led talks on the pact, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Massachusetts is considered a critical component to its success, and a decision by Romney not to participate would undercut what environmental groups, some businesses, and other supporters have touted as a watershed agreement to combat global warming." (Beth Daley and Scott Helman, "Romney Doubts Seen Delaying Emissions Pact," The Boston Globe, 11/22/05)


Romney Effectively Raised Gas Tax "On Every Motorist In The State" Of Massachusetts

In 2003, Romney Effectively Hiked The Gas Tax On Motorists By Two Cents Per Gallon. "Gov. Romney's administration is whacking motorists with the equivalent of a 2-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike, thanks to a little-known fund that pays for cleaning spills and underground leaks at local filling stations. Gas wholesalers pay a fee into the fund for every 10,000 gallons they deliver to retail filling stations in Massachusetts. As of April 1, on the Romney crew's say-so, the fee went from $50 for every 10,000 gallons to . . . $250. That stunning fivefold increase looks particularly onerous when you break it down to the per-gallon cost: from a half-cent per gallon to 2 1-2 cents in one fell swoop." (Cosmo Macero, "Pump It Up! Goosing The Gas Ta x With Mitt," Boston Herald, 4/11/03)

· Romney Gas Tax "Affects Every Motorist In The State," Was "Clearly Excessive" As It Was Raised To Cover Costs Of Closing Backlog Of Clean Up Cases Of Fuel Storage Tank Site Contamination, But Tax Actually Produced Surplus Of Over $40 Million A Year. "One major fee hike was clearly excessive -- a 2-cent-per-gallon increase in a special gasoline fee, implemented during the fiscal crisis without fanfare, even though it affects every motorist in the state. The increase generates about $60 million per year for a program to clean up contamination around underground fuel storage tanks, but since its inception has produced surpluses of more than $40 million a year above the actual cost of the program, according to a report done by the Departm ent of Revenue in response to a Globe request. Raised from half a cent to 2.5 cents per gallon in April 2003, ostensibly to pay for a backlog of cleanup claims, the fee is on top of the 21-cent-per-gallon state tax on gasoline." (Brian C. Mooney, "Taking Office While Remaining An Outsider," The Boston Globe, 6/29/07)

In 2003, Romney Said He Was Open To Increasing Federal Gas Tax

In 2003, Romney "Surprised Several People ... By Saying He Is Open To A Federal Increase In Gas Taxes." "Governor Mitt Romney refused yesterday to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush's economic program, but he told members of the state's congressional delegation during a private meeting he also would not oppose the cuts because he has to maintain 'a solid relationship' with the White House. ... In addition to refusing to endorse the president's tax cut, the governor surprised several people at the meeting by saying he is open to a federal increase in gas taxes." (Wayne Washington and Glen Johnson, "Romney Weighs In -- Carefully -- On Bush Tax-Cut Plan," The Boston Globe, 4/11/03)

· Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA): Romney "Supported An Increase" In Federal Gas Tax. "My memory is that [Romney] supported an increase in the (federal) gas tax and he wouldn't take a position on Bush's proposed tax cuts ..." (Casey Ross, Boston Herald's Daily Briefing Blog, "Romney Faces Questions On Tax Stance,", 2/7/07)

In This Campaign, Romney Refused To Rule Out Gas Tax Increase, Only Saying It Was Not "Politically Acceptable," As His Top Economic Advisor Urges $1 Per Gallon Gas Tax Increase

Romney Has Refused To Rule Out Raising The Federal Gas Tax -- As His Senior Economic Advisor Advocates -- Only Saying It Would Not Be "Politically Acceptable." CNBC's LARRY KUDLOW: "One of your senior economic advisers, Greg Mankiw from Harvard University, former President Bush economic adviser, he is pushing very hard for a $1 increase in the gasoline tax. Since he's close to you, would you go for a $1 rise in the gas tax nationwide?" ROMNEY: "Well, I think that would terrify everybody in the whole country. A gas tax of that nature, I think that's not something that's going to be politically acceptable to the American people." (CNBC's "Kudlow & Company," 2/7/07)

· Romney Senior Advisor Greg Mankiw: "I Would Like To See Congress Increase The Gas Tax By $1 Per Gallon, Phased In Gradually By 10 Cents Per Year Over The Next Decade." (N. Gregory Mankiw, Op-Ed, "Raise The Gas Tax," Wall Street Journal, 10/20/06)

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