stuck in the mittle

Romney Flip-Flops in Favor of Payroll Tax Cut Extension

Romney mid flop.

A new day, a new position for Mitt Romney on an extension of the payroll tax cut. Previously, Romney dismissed the cut as a “temporary little Band-Aid,” saying he desired a fundamental economic restructuring. But that was October. In November he was noncommittal and it’s currently December, when Mitt Romney supports a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut that President Obama is furiously pushing in an effort to boost consumer spending.

I would like to see the payroll tax cut extended just because I know that working families are really feeling the pinch right now — middle-class Americans are having a hard time,” Romney said Monday on Michael Medved’s conservative radio talk show.

The Democratic National Committee wrote in a press release that, “Now that public support has increased for an extension of the payroll tax cut, Mitt Romney is jumping on the bandwagon once again to support a plan he previously opposed.” Basically, Romney changes his jacket to meet the current climate.

Enter spokeswoman Andrea Saul of the Mitt spin machine, who said that “Mitt has never met a tax cut he doesn’t like but we’re going to need more permanent job creating incentives in order to turn around the economy.” For those keeping score, that’s support coupled with a jab. On the other side, Ben LaBolt of the Obama reelection campaign seized at the flip-flop, stating, “Mitt Romney’s position on the payroll tax cut makes a tilt-a-whirl look steady.”

This ungraceful shifting is a manifestation of the Democrats’ wise, but delayed, decision to push for the extension, as Jonathan Chait has written. The push leaves Romney and the GOP in a precarious position: oppose Obama and popular sentiment or accede to Obama’s demand to get it done before year’s end.

Romney Now Favors Payroll Tax Cut Extension