The Brody File has uncovered a piece of videotape from a 1994 senatorial debate where Mitt Romney says he is against the Republican Party’s effort to lower the federal capital gains tax.
Watch the video here. The transcription is below.
QUESTIONER: If I may follow up, are there particular specific issues that you have differences with the Republican Party platform? And if so, could you elaborate on them for us here?
ROMNEY: Well, for instance, on the crime bill. I supported the crime bill that was in the Senate...when it came time to vote for it in the final bill in the Senate, there were some Republicans that didn't want to go ahead, that wanted to fight for a filibuster. I disagreed with that. I thought it made sense to proceed with the crime bill. I said so.
Likewise, we're going to have some differences on some things like capital gains taxes. You're not going to see me standing up and fighting against capital gains taxes. Some things I'll agree with. But other things I'll disagree with.
To give you a little perspective, that year Republicans in Congress were trying to lower the federal tax on capital gains, which stood at 28 percent. While Romney was against the GOP position back then, today Romney IS fighting to lower capital gains taxes. What changed in his philosophy?
The Romney campaign wouldn’t respond to that direct question from The Brody File. Instead, Spokesman Ryan Williams gave us this statement:
As President, Mitt Romney will make the Bush capital gains tax rates permanent and eliminate the tax entirely for those making less than $200,000 annually. Gov. Romney believes that it's time to make a simpler and smarter tax code that will promote economic growth and help job creators put people back to work.”
Here is what The New York Times said in 1994 about Romney's comments on the capital gains tax.
Mr. Romney also sought to emphasize his independence from other Republicans. Questioned by a college student, he disavowed plans in House Republican candidates' "Contract With America" that would cut money available for student loans. "I'm not going to Washington to toe the line" and back all Republican positions, he said.
In a demonstration of that independence, Mr. Romney shifted on one issue tonight, saying he now opposed longstanding Republican proposals to reduce the federal tax on capital gains.
The Brody File has been pouring through past videotapes of both President Obama and Mitt Romney to gain understanding of their past positions and how they operate. The reason Romney doesn’t have the complete trust of the base is because of past statements like this.
It’s not that Republicans think he’ll reverse course on reducing capital gains taxes. The larger question with Romney is the fact that nobody is really sure exactly what he’s going to do because he’s taken different positions on a myriad of issues through the years.
Compounding the problem is the fact that he keeps details to a minimum and plays everything so close to the vest. The base finds that unsettling, to say the least, but it’s not like they have a choice this fall.
If Romney wins the presidency, they’ll be a lot of Republicans crossing their fingers come Inauguration Day.