Mitt Romney insisted that Republicans rule out any tax increases in negotiations to avoid a debt ceiling default, but as governor of Massachusetts they were a key selling point in his efforts to raise the state’s S&P rating.
In a presentation from 2004 obtained by Politico’s Ben Smith, the Romney administration touted a 2002 tax increase of over $1 billion approved by his predecessor as evidence the state was in good fiscal health. According to the 50-page presentation, Massachusetts “successfully managed revenue and expense positions” in 2002 and 2003 and “acted decisively to address the fiscal crisis.”
While Romney aides say they are not sure whether he was in the room for the presentation, Romney has talked up his personal involvement in the state’s successful bid to win over the S&P this week.
“The president really ought to personally sit down and meet with S&P,” he said in an interview with San Diego radio station KCBQ. “I did that when I was governor; I met with the ratings agencies and talked about our future and tried to instill confidence in our future because, look, how they rate our debt and how they rate our future as a nation will affect the interest costs that we end up paying and will affect homeowners and borrowers all over the country.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.