NY Times reported McCain's prior "differences" with Bush on tax cuts, but didn't note flip-flop

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote that Sen. John McCain's "differences with the White House are well known," and added: "He did not vote for the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a sore point with groups like the conservative Club for Growth." However, Stolberg did not note that after opposing the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, McCain now supports making the tax cuts permanent -- a position Bush noted during his Sunday interview.

In a February 11 article on President Bush's February 10 interview on Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote that Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) "differences with the White House are well known," and added: "He did not vote for the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a sore point with groups like the conservative Club for Growth." However, Stolberg did not note that after opposing the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, McCain now supports making the tax cuts permanent -- a position Bush noted during his Sunday interview.

In May 2001, McCain voted against the final version of Bush's initial $1.35 trillion tax-cut package. In a floor statement explaining his opposition, McCain said that while he supported an earlier version of the bill "that provided more tax relief to middle income Americans," he could not "in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." In 2003, McCain voted against legislation to accelerate the tax reductions enacted in the 2001 bill and to cut taxes on dividends and capital gains. In 2006, however, he voted for a bill extending the 2003 tax cuts. When asked during the April 2, 2006, broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press why he had changed his position, McCain replied: "I do not believe in tax increases. ... The tax cuts are now there and voting to revoke them would have been to -- not to extend them would have meant a tax increase." Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, reportedly said at the time: "It's a big flip-flop, but I'm happy that he's flopped."

A press release on McCain's campaign website asserts, "John McCain will make the Bush income and investment tax cuts permanent, keeping income tax rates at their current level."

On Fox News Sunday, Bush stated that McCain "has got some convincing to do to convince people that he is a solid conservative [...] but he is a conservative." Bush added that McCain "is tough fiscally. He believes the tax cuts ought to be permanent."

From the February 11 New York Times article:

Mr. Bush reserved his most extensive remarks for Mr. McCain. Conservatives are deeply mistrustful of the senator, whose advisers are hoping an embrace by Mr. Bush could help bring the divided party together.

Mr. McCain's differences with the White House are well known. He did not vote for the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a sore point with groups like the conservative Club for Growth. And he disagreed with Mr. Bush on campaign finance reform and the use of harsh interrogation tactics against terrorism suspects. But Mr. Bush defended him.

"I know him well," Mr. Bush said. "I know his convictions. I know the principles that drive him. And no doubt in my mind he is a true conservative."

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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