Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod told George Stephanopoulos this morning during an appearance on ABC’s “The Week” that Mitt Romney has failed to make the case why Americans should vote or him rather than just voting for him because he’s not Barack Obama.
When asked about a Romney ad about Obama’s inability to control his party members during last year’s debt-ceiling fight, Axelrod changed the subject saying that the GOP nominee’s campaign has failed to catch fire because he hasn’t delivered clear ideas on how to fix the economy.
“The most interesting poll of the last week came from the state of Massachusetts, where Gov. Romney, the state he governed just six years ago, is 33 points behind,” Axelrod said. “No one has ever won the presidency without carrying their home state.
“What a harsh judgment from the people who know him best.”
Axelrod slammed Romney for hypocrisy and suggested he has not been transparent enough with his taxes.
Romney’s release of his 2011 tax returns does not go far enough, Axelrod said, suggesting that the GOP nominee still needs to follow his father George Romney’s example and release 12 years of taxes.
The Obama strategist insinuated that Romney had manipulated his taxes to make it seem as though he had paid additional taxes to give false impressions.
Most people pay far more of a percentage of their income in taxes than the 14 percent Romney paid in 2011, Axelrod said.
Axelrod latched onto Romney’s stated investment in Sankaty Advisors, a subsidiary of Bain Capital that has interests in Gazprom, the Russian state oil and gas company, and Chinese oil interests among other things.
“We did learn some things from these tax returns,” Axelrod said. “We just learned that the guy who goes around America saying he’s gonna back China invested in the Chinese state oil company, the guy that said, ‘Let’s believe in America’ put his money put its money in a fund that hedges against American treasuries – that roots for the failure of the American treasuries.”
Romney’s own tax returns aren’t the problem because the GOP nominee has not said how he would “pay” for the nearly $5 trillion in tax cuts he has proposed over the next decade, according to Axelrod.
Yet historically going back to the 1980s, economic growth has more than paid for the tax rate reductions with increased tax receipts. Yet the deficits have been fueled by a failure to cut the rate of the growth of the federal budget as happened in the Reagan years and in the second Bush administration.
“There’s $2 trillion of new defense spending and no specifics of how he would pay for that,” Axelrod said. “He’s either going to explode the deficit, sock it to the middle class or both.
“The question is do we really want to go back to trickle-down economics and a $5 trillion tax cut skewed to the wealthy, deregulation of Wall Street, the same script we’ve played with through the last decade, or are we going to keep moving forward and doing the things we need to do to rebuild this economy.”