CBS News Covers For Romney Campaign's Tax Doublespeak

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CBS chief political correspondent John Dickerson disputed President Obama's description of Mitt Romney's tax plan as a "$5 trillion tax cut" because one of Romney's advisers suggested he would reduce the size of his proposed tax cuts if he could not pay for them. But Dickerson is ignoring the fact that Romney running mate Paul Ryan suggested last week that Romney would not reduce the size of his tax cuts because lowering taxes is his highest priority.

During a panel discussion on the presidential debate on Face The Nation, Dickerson said that it was unfair to accuse Romney of being dishonest about his tax plan. Dickerson explained that a top Romney economic adviser "said we have two goals here. One is deficit reduction, the other is reducing marginal rates. If those come in conflict our primary goal is deficit reduction and the marginal rates might not go down as much."

That stands in direct contrast to remarks by Paul Ryan, who was asked specifically if Mitt Romney would "scale back on the 20 percent tax cut for the wealthy" if the cuts could not be paid for and replied "No, no.".

Chris Wallace asked Ryan in that September 30 Fox News Sunday interview "what's most important to [Romney] in his tax reform plan?" Ryan replied, "keeping tax rates down. By lowering tax rates, people keep more of the next dollar that they earn. That matters. That is incentives." He added, "That's more important than anything."

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John Dickerson
Face the Nation
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