Update: Warner’s Comments On Taxes Clarified
I want to thank Nate Wilcox from Mark Warner’s Forward Together PAC for staying with me and clarifying what Mr. Warner thinks about the Bush tax cuts. I had written a negative piece yesterday against Warner based on the Des Moines Register article on Warner’s appearance Monday in Iowa. The Hotline blog just ran an entry containing an interview with Warner wherein he clarified what he hoped to get across Monday but unfortunately never made its way into some of the media accounts.
I also attempted to contact the Register reporter by email yesterday for an explanation, but as of yet have not heard back anything. I received an email from Tom Beaumont today, wherein he told me his original version of the story did include Warner's quotes that the Bush tax cuts were immoral in a time of war, but these quotes for some reason were deleted by his editor.
Ex-VA Gov. Mark Warner (D) wants you to know: he thinks the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans, enacted during an expensive war and with rising federal budget deficits, were "morally wrong and economically wrong" and that he would indeed support their repeal.
Warner, in an interview with The Hotline this a.m., clarified his comments Monday in Iowa, which were reported by the Des Moines Register. Warner said he did not mean to suggest that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) was wrong to urge the repeal of those tax cuts benefiting the richest two percent of taxpayers.
Instead, he said, he was responding to a question about the way Kerry's campaign sold that message.
"My comment was, we shouldn't [begrudge] folks' aspirations to be successful, but with success comes responsibility, and we've got to have a tax code that's fair." More Warner: "The Kerry position was right but [the] concern is, how do you make the case to the American people?" Sometimes, said Warner, Democrats "appear as anti 'people-being-successful.' But with that success comes a sense of responsibility and fairness."
In his Hotline interview, Warner said that comprehensive tax reform at a national level would entail taking a look at "federal spending, government reform and it's going to take looking at the revenue side." If Democrats take control of the Senate, Warner said they should "definitely" vote to repeal the "high level" cuts while possibly keeping "some of the middle income tax cuts in place."
Fair enough, and I agree with these positions. My apologies to the Warner camp for running with the DMR article as an accurate reflection of the message he was trying to put forward.
Good job Nate.