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Truth Test: Gingrich Ad Attacks Romney on Taxes

8:00 PM, Jan 30, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This is one in a series of fact check reports on 2012 political ads. This Truth Test examines an ad paid for by the Newt Gingrich campaign that attacks Mitt Romney on taxes.

Statement: "Today, Mitt Romney says he supports President Bush's tax cuts, but as governor refused to support them."

 

This is true.

It says he "refused to support." He didn't condemn the tax cuts, but he wouldn't endorse them either.  As Massachusetts governor, Romney was governing with a legislature made up largely of Democrats who were diametrically opposed to the Bush cuts. He was trying to walk a thin line.

He didn't want to hurt his relationship with the White House, but also didn't want to deepen his own battles at home.

A Boston Globe blog contains excerpts from articles on the dates in which Romney's statements were made.

Other documented comments on the subject as well the Romney's campaign's response:

 

Statement: "Indeed as a liberal governor, Mitt Romney increased fees and taxes by $700 million."

This is opinion. Whether or not Romney is a liberal governor depends on your definition of liberal. In terms of the taxes and fees, Romney never raised personal taxes, but with a combination of closing loopholes and new fees, the dollars were in the hundreds of millions. The Massachusetts Department of Administration and Finance puts the total at just over $400 million. The Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation said it was more than $700 million.

MORE: Romney 2004 budget figures

Statement: "Now he attacks Newt Gingrich. But as speaker, Newt's leadership helped reduce spending balance the budget and create 11 million new jobs."

Again, this is opinion. While the budget was balanced on Gingrich's watch, spending did increase. Most experts agree the jobs figure is close, but how much credit Gingrich should get for that depends on your opinion.

MORE: Budget information

 

Statement: "If Mitt Romney would mislead us on all this, can we trust him on anything else?"

Obviously, this is opinion as well. Whether Romney misled anyone, is up to you to decide. 

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