New Romney ad disputes Obama claim on $5 trillion tax cut

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 03: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The first of four debates for the 2012 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by PBS's Jim Lehrer and focuses on domestic issues: the economy, health care, and the role of government. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Chip Somodevilla

ORLANDO, Fla. In an effort to combat the Obama campaign's recent attacks on his tax plan, Mitt Romney's campaign is releasing a new TV advertisement on Sunday that accuses the president of distorting the Republican nominee's economic plan - a charge that the Obama campaign says is wrong.

The ad, "5 Trillion," says Obama is "not telling the truth about Mitt Romney's tax plan" and focuses on fact checks from both the Associated Press and ABC News that dispute the claim.

During the first presidential debate, President Obama referred to Romney's "$5 trillion tax cut" four times.

The number comes from a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that examined Romney's tax proposals - including his plan to reduce federal income tax rates by 20 percent, in addition to eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions. The center estimated that the lost revenues would total $480 billion by 2015.

The Obama campaign used this number to project the cost over a decade and came up with approximately $5 trillion.

But as PolitiFact and other fact-checking organizations have pointed out, Romney's tax plan also includes offsetting lost revenue by getting rid of deductions and closing loopholes. Romney himself has said that his tax cuts will be revenue-neutral, though he hasn't specified which deductions or loopholes he'll close - one of the central criticisms that Democrats have lodged against him.

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said during an interview on CNN that when deductions are included, Romney's tax plan "won't be near $5 trillion." The Romney campaign seized on the remarks and included them in their new ad.

Additionally, Romney's campaign accuses Mr. Obama of planning to raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000 with his own tax plan. This figure comes from a study by the conservative American Enterprise Institute that Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith called "a partisan distortion of a study that has nothing to do with the president's proposals."

Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner responded to the new ad by arguing that Romney himself is now being dishonest.

"Whether the Romney campaign likes it or not, independent estimates have confirmed that the specific tax cuts Romney has promised - including a 20 percent tax cut across-the-board - would cost $5 trillion," Kanner said in an e-mail to reporters.

"And independent, nonpartisan analysis also shows that to pay for this plan, he would have to raise taxes on middle class families by cutting popular tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction. These are the facts of Mitt Romney's plan, and no amount of spin, including mischaracterizing the statements of our campaign staff, can change them."

  • Sarah Huisenga On Twitter»

    Sarah Huisenga is covering the Mitt Romney campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

Comments