In falsely accusing Obama, Fox News' Brown misrepresented reason McCain gave for initially opposing Bush tax cuts

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Fox News' Steve Brown accused Sen. Barack Obama of omitting the purported reason Sen. John McCain initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, which Brown claimed was "because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget." In fact, the reason McCain gave for voting against the tax cuts in a May 2001 floor statement was that "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."

During the October 23 edition of Fox News' Studio B, general assignment reporter Steve Brown accused Sen. Barack Obama of "leav[ing] out" the purported reason Sen. John McCain initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, which Brown claimed was "because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, when McCain voted against the tax cuts in 2001, the reason he gave in his floor statement was not that they were not accompanied by spending cuts; rather, McCain stated, "I cannot 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." Indeed, during the February 3 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace told McCain: "[Y]ou've been saying, 'Well, the reason was because they didn't have spending cuts along with it.' Senator, we checked your speech before the final vote in the 2001 tax cut. ... You never once mentioned the fact that there weren't spending cuts."

On the April 11, 2004, edition of NBC's Meet the Press, McCain reaffirmed his rationale for originally opposing the Bust tax cuts, stating: "I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportionate amount that went to the wealthy Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit. But the middle-income tax credits, the families, the child tax credits, the marriage tax credits, all of those I would keep." As Media Matters has noted, McCain has since reversed his position on the tax cuts -- he now supports their permanent extension.

From the October 23 edition of Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith:

BROWN: Just today, they were talking about how -- John McCain, talking about those Bush tax cuts that were focused on the folks making -- households making better than a quarter-million dollars that John McCain himself was against those originally when those came up to vote. What Senator Obama did leave out of that when he was talking to a crowd of 35,000 here in Indianapolis was the reason why John McCain was against them.

He was against them because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget. So without the budget cuts, he didn't think that cutting taxes was the appropriate thing to do. So while Obama does say that his opponent was for them and was right then and I'm right now, he leaves out the important part about the budget cuts that McCain wanted to go with them.

SMITH: [Fox News chief political correspondent] Carl [Cameron], McCain's bus has a new name. What's with that?

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Steve Brown
Show/Publication
Studio B
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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