And We're Back to Making Up Gaffes

And We're Back to Making Up Gaffes

And We're Back to Making Up Gaffes

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 4 2012 6:18 PM

And We're Back to Making Up Gaffes

DENVER -- Behold, the return of the Romney campaign's Making Gaffes Out of Absolutely Nothing strategy. It's like it never stopped. Take it away, AP:

Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Thursday that he and President Barack Obama want to raise $1 trillion in taxes on the wealthy as part of a plan to let some Bush-era tax cuts expire, giving Republicans fresh fodder to criticize the Democratic ticket just days after the vice president said the middle class has been buried during the past four years. Biden said Romney and other Republicans often say "'Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars.' Guess what? Yes, we do in one regard: We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn't have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super-wealthy."

Do read that AP article -- classic, lazy, he-said-she-said-it's-a-gaffe reporting. What's the evidence that Biden gave Republicans new fodder? That the Romney campaign "said Biden's comment revealed an uncomfortable truth for Democrats." And, hey, the Romney campaign's selling a shirt, with the "yes we do" line and nothing else from the Biden quote.

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But it's not fresh. Obama's been campaigning on raising the top Bush tax rate -- taxing income over $250,000 at 39.6 percent -- for five years. He punted on raising it in the 2010 tax deal; his reward was getting mocked by Republicans for breaking a promise. (Well, that and some economic stimulus.) The "$1 trillion" number comes from an August CBO projection that letting the top rate go up would add $950 billion in revenue over 10 years. The Romney campaign, the RNC, et al, have been engaged in a long-term campaign of bamboozlement to convince voters that this "$1 trillion tax hike" is directed at them. Biden explicitly says that it isn't, so they pretend that he said the opposite. Voila, news.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.