Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace turned on the Romney campaign today, called out their bogus 6 studies statistic and criticized their tax cut math that doesn’t add up.
Here is the video:
WALLACE: All right, let’s talk about what David Axelrod brought up in the question of taxes. In the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan, once again, got roughed up for failing to explain how you’re going to pay for the 20% cut in tax rates by limiting deductions. Let’s take a look. Here it is.
RYAN: We want to work with congress on how best to achieve this, that means successful. What we are saying, lower tax rates 20%, start with the wealthy, work with congress to do it.
WALLACE: Ryan is saying, we don’t want to get hemmed in. Let’s leave it to negotiations with congress to get into the details. Here’s my question. Why is it all right to tell voters about the candy – hey, everybody is going to get a 20% tax cut, cut in their tax rates, but let’s not tell them about the spinach, which is you’re going to lose some deductions?
GILLESPIE: We have talked about losing deductions…
WALLACE: But you haven’t given specifics.
GILLESPIE: Well, because Chris, in a campaign environment, to start negotiating in a campaign environment you’re going to lock in republicans, you’re going to lock in democrats…
WALLACE: But you locked them in on the 20% tax rate.
GILLESPIE: I think people understand that that is a broad principle, that that tax rate needs to come down and we need to broaden the base. That is the principle, the principle is also that we are not going to change the share of taxes paid by upper income earners, and we’re going to give tax relief to the middle class and it’s going to be deficit neutral. You can do all of those things and have people understand that this election was about this and we need this kind of pro-growth tax reform agenda. And, then work out the details in the same way, by the way, Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill with working across the aisle. Governor Romney has a proven record of being able to work across this aisle.
WALLACE: But you’re not explaining – because there are a lot of question from independent people – how do you pay for it? And you refuse say how you’re going to pay for it.
GILLESPIE: What we have said is that we are going to pay for it with these, by limiting deductions and loopholes – and, by the way, making sure for the middle class, that protecting the home mortgage deduction and other important deductions for them, but at the high end you would eliminate deductions and, you know, a lot of special interest loopholes that would allow you to bring down the rate 20%. Six different studies have said this is entirely doable.
WALLACE: Those are questionable, some of them are blogs, some of them are from the AEI, which is hardly an independent group.
GILLESPIE: These are very credible sources…
WALLACE: One of them is from a guy who is – from a blog from a guy who was a top advisor to George W. Bush. These are hardly nonpartisan studies.
GILLESPIE: Well, Chris, I think if you look at Harvard an AEI and other studies, they are very credible sources for economic analysis.
WALLACE: You wouldn’t say that AEI is a conservative think tank?
GILLESPIE: I would say it is a right-leaning think tank. That doesn’t make it not credible.
WALLACE: Chris: It doesn’t make it nonpartisan.
GILLESPIE: It does make it nonpartisan. It’s not a partisan organization, I can tell you, there have been many instances where there have been things that AEI has come out with and said, that I didn’t find to be necessarily helpful to the Republican Party.
Fox News has been complaining about the fact that Romney won’t give them specifics since the general election campaign started, but Chris Wallace’s tough stance on Ed Gillespie shows how exasperated they have become with Romney.
What the Romney campaign doesn’t get is that Fox News is on their side, and would spin any details they gave them in a way that would help the Romney campaign. Romney could announce that he is going pay for his tax cut by cutting all food assistance to children and seniors, get rid of Head Start, and he is will be charging everybody $25 a year for the right to use the words United States and Fox News would still spin it in his favor.
It was also a bit surreal to see Chris Wallace do what most of the supposedly “neutral” mainstream media won’t do, by calling out Romney’s 6 studies statistic as completely bogus.
The reality is that Roger Ailes and Fox News see Romney’s lack of details as one of his major weaknesses. They know it could cost him the election. They are trying their best to help Romney out, but the Republican nominee’s campaign is either too paranoid or stupid to accept their assistance.
It is looking like the real reason why Mitt Romney won’t give the details about his tax plan is because there aren’t any. Romney might actually be telling the truth when he states that he is going to figure it out later with the Congress, but figuring it out later with the Congress is also political code for, “we’re not going to pay for this,” and that is a truth that the Romney campaign desperately does not want to admit.
The Fox News/Romney marriage should never be described as good. Much like most of the right, they are supporting Romney because he is the nominee. Chris Wallace’s questioning of Gillespie was more proof that Mitt Romney doesn’t trust Fox News, and Fox News doesn’t trust Mitt Romney.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association