Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) just announced (via Twitter) that Mitt Romney signed their “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” This strikes me as both good and weird.
It’s obviously good because it means that the frontrunner for the GOP nomination has sworn off tax increases. It is weird because of the timing. It’s weird because just last week, Mitt Romney refused to sign The Susan B. Anthony List’s pro-life pledge.
And it’s weird because those defending Romney’s decision argued that forcing candidates to sign these pledges is futile. Defending Romney, Charles Krauthammer said, “Every candidate ought to be allowed to frame a major issue in his own words. That’s what’s wrong with a pledge — it’s written by others, and it constrains you.” This, of course, is now an argument Mitt Romney has destroyed.
So now I must wonder… has he “flip-flopped” on pledges? Or does this mean that Romney is more committed to lowering taxes than to defending the lives of the unborn? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think it’s now a fair question.
What is more, it is interesting that Romney has chosen to sign ATR’s pledge just days after telling Politico he would not participate in next month’s Las Vegas GOP debate sponsored by the Daily Caller and (guess who else?) American’s for Tax Reform.
(Update: In the original version of this I wrote that Romney did not inform us of his decision to skip the debate. I am now told that is not the case. My apologies for the mistake.)