MSNBC's Hall aired McCain ad attacking Romney for "chang[ing] positions" on tax cuts without noting McCain's flip-flops on taxes, negative campaigning

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

On MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall aired an ad from Sen. John McCain that accuses Mitt Romney of "chang[ing] positions like the wind" on his support for "the Bush tax cuts." But Hall did not mention that McCain himself has shifted positions on President Bush's tax cuts or that McCain has previously denounced "negative campaigns."

During the January 25 edition of MSNBC Live, anchor Tamron Hall aired Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) "new ad targeting his chief rival in Florida, [Gov.] Mitt Romney [R-MA]," in which McCain accuses Romney of "chang[ing] positions like the wind" on his support for "the Bush tax cuts." But Hall did not mention that McCain himself has shifted positions on President Bush's tax cuts or that McCain has previously criticized Romney for running a "negative campaign[]."

Hall introduced the segment by referencing Democratic campaign ads in South Carolina launched "earlier this week" and stated: "Well, now it's the Republicans' turn to play that same card. Check out John McCain's new ad targeting his chief rival in Florida, Mitt Romney." Hall then aired the Web-based ad in its entirety:

ANNOUNCER: Mitt Romney says he's a leader, but how do we know which direction he wants to lead? Mitt Romney seems to change positions like the wind. He tells Florida he supports the Bush tax cuts. But as Massachusetts governor, Romney refused to take a position on the Bush tax cuts, and then increased taxes by $700 million dollars but tried to call them "fees." Where does Mitt Romney stand? Whichever way the wind blows.

Yet Hall did not note that McCain has also "change[d] positions" on "the Bush tax cuts." When Congress first considered the tax cuts in 2001, McCain said in a May 26, 2001, floor statement that he opposed the bill because "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." And in 2003, McCain voted against legislation to accelerate the tax reductions enacted in the 2001 bill and cut taxes on dividends and capital gains. Yet in 2006, McCain voted for the bill extending the 2003 tax cuts. When asked during the April 2, 2006, broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press why he had changed his mind on Bush's tax cuts, McCain replied: "I do not believe in tax increases. ... The tax cuts are now there, and voting to revoke them would have been to -- not to extend them would have meant a tax increase." Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform reportedly said at the time: "It's a big flip-flop, but I'm happy that he's flopped."

McCain has also changed his explanation for why he initially opposed the 2001 tax cuts. While McCain declared in his 2001 floor statement that he could not "in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief," McCain now reportedly maintained that he originally voted against the Bush tax cuts because they were not paired with spending cuts.

Moreover, Hall aired McCain's attack ad against Romney without noting that McCain has previously criticized Romney for conducting a "negative campaign[]." Indeed, during the January 4 edition of MSNBC Live, Hall aired a different McCain ad attacking Romney without noting that McCain had delivered a speech the night before -- following the Iowa caucuses -- in which he referenced Romney when he said that "[t]he lesson of this election in Iowa is that, one, you can't buy an election in Iowa, and, two, negative campaigns don't work. They don't work there, and they don't work here in New Hampshire."

From the 9 a.m. ET hour of the January 25 edition of MSNBC Live:

HALL: Well, you heard it if -- from the Democrats earlier this week. Barack Obama accusing Hillary Clinton of saying anything to get elected. Well, now it's the Republicans' turn to play that same card. Check out John McCain's new ad targeting his chief rival in Florida, Mitt Romney.

ANNOUNCER [video clip]: Mitt Romney says he's a leader, but how do we know which direction he wants to lead? Mitt Romney seems to change positions like the wind. He tells Florida he supports the Bush tax cuts. But as Massachusetts governor, Romney refused to take a position on the Bush tax cuts, and then increased taxes by $700 million dollars but tried to call them "fees." Where does Mitt Romney stand? Whichever way the wind blows.

HALL: Well, McCain and Romney are still fighting it out for Florida, but the Arizona senator has jumped from fourth to first among the GOP in a new national poll. And it is a remarkable turnaround, you could say, for his campaign. In fact, McCain has raised more money this month, $7 million, than he did over a period of three months last summer.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tamron Hall
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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