Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sounded like a Mitt Romney campaign surrogate for a moment, when he said that President Obama “doesn’t want to cut taxes for the middle class” during an interview on Fox News.
“And he actually went beyond them in terms of tax cuts to the middle class,” Villaraigosa, chairman of this week’s Democratic National Convention, told Chris Wallace when asked about Obama’s rejection of his Simpson-Bowles Commission’s proposed deficit reduction plan. “He doesn’t want to cut taxes for the middle class. He’d prefer closing tax loopholes and importantly, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the top 2 percent.”
Villaraigosa might have meant that Obama did not want to raise taxes on the middle class, because the Simpson-Bowles Commission proposed “a big tax hike on the middle class,” as Forbes explained in February.
In any case, the Romney team will view it as a welcome echo of their criticism of Obama. “Instead of working to put Americans back to work, President Obama has been pushing a liberal agenda for his government takeover of health care, higher taxes on middle class families and small-business owners, and burdensome new regulations,” Shawn McCoy, Romney’s Iowa campaign spokesman, told the Sioux City Journal (Iowa) this week.
McCoy was responding to Obama’s claim that he, not Mitt Romney, wants to cut taxes for the middle class. “Our economic strength has never come from the top down; it comes from the middle,” the president said. Villaraigosa repeated that phrase during his Fox News interview.