Politics

WSJ’s Strassel: Romney should debunk ‘bizarre’ Democrat argument Bush tax policy caused recession

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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One of the most common Democratic talking points has been that Mitt Romney must be defeated so that the supposedly destructive policies of the Bush administration are not repeated.

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kimberley Strassel noted the flaws of that argument and advised Romney to formulate a strong response to it.

“Romney has done an excellent job of talking about everything that the president has not done well,” Strassel said. “What he has not managed to do is rebut the attacks on him — in particular this argument that the president has hit on the last two months, that it were Republican policies that got us into this mess. And that he is a return to that. He needs to have a story about what actually happened that led up to this recession.”

Strassel said that, while the Romney campaign shouldn’t spend too much time revisiting the last administration’s policies, it does need to respond more effectively to the Democrats’ line of attack.

“I don’t think they want to re-litigate the Bush years, but they want to hear an economic argument about — that makes the case that this was not Bush tax policy that got us to where we are, which is one of the sort of bizarre arguments that you get from Democrats these days, but that free market policies are actually the way to revive the economy,” she said. “And he’s got to go out there more forcefully, defend them and promote them. This, by the way, is where I think his money is going to help. I don’t think the Romney campaign is going to be sending most of it attacking the president. They are going to be out there trying to make the positive case, which is something they were not able to do.”

Romney needs to make clear that he supports tax reform, not simply more of the same tax cuts, according to Strassel.

”He’s got to present it as tax reform,” Strassel said. “Americans like the idea of tax reform. The Democrats are trying to present this as a tax cut, a straightforward tax cut, that doesn’t poll as well, doesn’t do as well.”

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