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Romney's opportunistic position on the tax compromise

Posted by Rob Anderson  December 14, 2010 02:38 PM

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romn.JPGFormer Massachusetts governor and probable 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney came out against President Obama's tax compromise today, aligning himself with the more conservative wing of the Republican Party. In a column published in USA Today, Romney criticized the deal for delivering short-term economic stimulus while leaving the long-term health of our economy in doubt. "Uncertainty," Romney explains, "is not a friend of investment, growth and job creation."

In knocking the tax compromise, Romney joined the ranks of many Tea Party-friendly politicians and pundits who have already come out against it, including Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Senator Jim DeMint, and Charles Krauthammer. Romney is also alienating himself from more moderate Republicans at the same time. A group formed by Republican operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, for example, is preparing an ad campaign urging Democrats to support the deal.

Conservative pundit David Frum says that if you look at Romney's position through the lens of political posturing, it all makes sense. It's "the safest ground for Romney to stand," From writes, "given (1) Republican conservatives don’t trust him and need to be wooed and that (2) Republicans do trust him and expect him to govern responsibly whatever he may say on the campaign trail."

But, Frum adds, if you look at Romney's position through any other lens — like logic, reason, or reality — it doesn't quite hold up. "Romney is a politician, he must act politically," Frum admits. "But can we notice that Romney’s stated grounds of opposition to the deal make no sense?" Frum goes on to list five reasons why Romney's argument doesn't hold water. (If you're interested, read them all here.)

In a tweet, conservative pundit John Podhoretz had this to say about the article: "And the Mitt Romney, Most Inauthentic Politician in America, Drive to the Presidency continues." Conservative commentator Allahpundit summed it up in an even pithier phrase: "Thus did Mitt cover his ass ahead of the 2011 primaries."

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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