Romney Ad: Pledge Not to Raise Taxes

The Associated Press
Friday, October 5, 2007; 1:57 AM

CONCORD, N.H. -- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney planned to continue hammering his rivals on Friday, starting a new radio ad in New Hampshire that touts his promise not to raise taxes.

Romney, who has seen his polling lead in New Hampshire evaporate in recent months, reminds voters in his new 60-second ad that he has signed a pledge not to raise taxes.

"For years, conservative candidates for president signed their name on the dotted line, pledging to oppose tax increases," Romney says in the ad that starts on Friday. "I'm proud to be the only major candidate for president to sign the tax pledge. The others have not."

The ads come after back-to-back days of trading jabs between Romney and fellow GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani. The pair spent Thursday in a sharp exchange over their tax and spending records.

In Romney's new ad, he notes he signed the no-taxes pledge because voters deserve to know where he stands _ and, by contrast, where former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain do not.

"We've got to get taxes down. And grow our economy," Romney says. "I believe it's not fair that you have to pay taxes when you earn your money, when you save your money and when you die.

"I stood firm to roll back taxes as governor. I'll roll back taxes as president," says Romney, who was unable to cut taxes while leading Massachusetts.

Giuliani's anti-tax statements are a centerpiece on the campaign trail. At every opportunity, he lets voters know he cut taxes 23 times as mayor. Giuliani's critics note that he opposed some of those tax cuts, and others on the tally were initiated by the state _ not the city _ of New York.

Romney's anti-tax stance doesn't exactly mesh with his 2002 record. In that year, his spokesman called such pledges "government by gimmickry." His critics also note taxes and fees in Massachusetts went up about $700 million.

"No amount of political spin can help Mitt Romney re-write the history books," Giuliani spokeswoman Katie Levinson said. "Mitt Romney can repackage himself as many times as he wants but his failing fiscal record speaks for itself."

© 2007 The Associated Press