Obama and Romney take tax cut debate on the road - Los Angeles Times
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. One day after President Obama put forward a proposal to extend tax cuts for the middle class and Mitt Romney attacked the plan, the presidential rivals took to swing states to press their views.
Romney, the unofficial Republican nominee, participated in a question-and-answer session with voters in a heavily Republican part of Colorado, as he sought to highlight the continuing struggle to bring back jobs to a particularly hard-hit region of the country.
He said that Obama's proposal, which would extendGeorge W. Bush-era tax cuts for those making up to $250,000 a year but not for upper-income Americans, would harm "job creators." The tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
The former Massachusetts governor called the president's plan to extend tax cuts only for some Americans "another kick in the gut" after last week's middling jobs report. Obama's plan, he said, was "the sort of thing only an extreme liberal can come up with."
"When people in Washington say they're lowering taxes, hold on to your wallet," Romney said before an enthusiastic audience at Central High School in Grand Junction. "For job creators and small businesses, he announced a massive tax increase."
He added: "So, at the very time [that] the American people are seeing fewer jobs created than we need, the president announces he's going to make it harder for jobs to be created. I just don't think this president understands how our economy works. Liberals have an entirely different view about what makes America the economic powerhouse it is."
Romney also went on a counterattack on Democratic efforts to suggest that he outsourced jobs while heading the private equity firm Bain Capital. He noted that the independent website factcheck.org found no evidence to support those claims.
"This president has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies, that end up making their products outside the United States," he said. "If there is an outsourcer in chief, it's the president of the United States, not the guy who's running to replace him."
Later, Romney traveled to Colorado Springs, where he met privately with residents who have been displaced by recent fires, and helped food bank volunteers pack supplies for firefighters and families affected by the disaster.
Obama, appearing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made his pitch for Congress to keep taxes at their current level for Americans earning less than $250,000. He focused on a local school administrator, Jason McLaughlin, and his wife, Ali, and how expiration of the tax cuts would hurt them.
The first home that he and Michelle Obama lived in was about the size of the McLaughlins', Obama said, and they struggled with the bills every month too.
Like them, he said, he had always aspired to work hard and didn't ask for wealth in return just the chance for the occasional vacation like the ones of his childhood on the Greyhound bus or in a rental car.
"We love folks getting rich," Obama said. "I hope Malia and Sasha go out there if that's what they want to do, that's great. But I do want to make sure that everybody else gets that chance as well."
After the speech, Obama went to downtown Cedar Rapids for a treat at Deb's Ice Cream & Deli. He bought cones and floats for his staffers and got a mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone for himself. He also bought a cone for a little girl he called "sweetie." Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus traveled to Cedar Rapids to push the GOP case while Obama was there, unveiling a new website that charged Obama with allowing money from the economic stimulus bill to be used for jobs overseas.
As Republicans attacked on that issue, Vice President Joe Biden countered with a new blast at Romney's unwillingness to disclose more than two years' tax returns.
Biden, addressing Latino leaders, combined the tax issue with a jab at Romney's support for Arizona's tough law against illegal immigrants.
Romney, he said, "wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his." firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Reston reported from Grand Junction, Parsons from Washington.