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GOP criticizes Conway for changing stance on Bush tax cuts

August 17, 2010 | | Comments 18
Attorney General Jack Conway

Attorney General Jack Conway

By Jack Brammer – jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT — Republicans criticized Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway on Tuesday for changing his position on the controversial issue of extending tax cuts approved during President George W. Bush’s administration.

During last spring’s Democratic primary, Conway told the editorial board of The Courier-Journal of Louisville that most of the so-called Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire. But over the past month, Conway has repeatedly said most of the tax cuts should be extended.

“I don’t think that a recession is any time to raise taxes,” Conway told CN|2 Politics in early August. “So I think the Bush tax cuts ought to be extended for some period of time, especially the individual taxes, the estate tax provisions, keeping the capital gains tax at 15 percent. I think they ought to be extended.”

At a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum in July, Conway said, “Extend those tax cuts.”

Those comments don’t match what he told the Courier-Journal during the primary, when he was battling Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and touting himself as a “real Democrat.”

When asked by the newspaper which of the tax cuts he would favor extending and which he would favor letting expire, Conway answered: “Well, I would, I would, favor letting expire probably the majority, the majority of the Bush tax cuts.”

The contrasting statements gained new traction this week after being highlighted in a YouTube video that was posted on the liberal blog Page One Kentucky.

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul’s campaign press secretary, Gary Howard, said Tuesday that Conway has has been caught “saying one thing to win liberal primary votes, (and) now saying another to pretend he is not a liberal in the general election.

“Kentuckians will not be fooled, and unfortunately for Jack, there is video evidence of his amazing back-flip on tax cuts,” Howard said.

Paul’s criticism comes after Conway has repeatedly accused Paul of waffling on a variety of issues, including taking campaign funds from members of Congress who voted for federal bailouts and backpedaling on civil rights issues.

The so-called Bush tax cuts that passed in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire at year’s end, and a national debate is under way whether to renew them.

Republicans argue that the cuts should be made permanent, but officials in President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration have said keeping the tax cuts in place would increase the national debt by $700 billion over the next 10 years.

The president has said he wants the temporary tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire this year but continue for everyone else.

In Kentucky, Paul and Conway now are squabbling over who loves the Bush tax cuts more. Neither candidate has said how he would pay for them amidst record federal budget deficits.

State Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson claimed in a news release Tuesday that expiration of the cuts “would slam Kentucky voters with the largest tax hike in our nation’s history and unduly hurt the Commonwealth’s middle-class families and job-creating small-business owners.”

He then attempted to tie Conway to President Obama, which has become a key political strategy for Republicans this election season.

“Jack Conway can’t be trusted to maintain a single position on the issues affecting Kentuckians, and he can’t be trusted to protect our wallets from President Obama’s reckless economic agenda in Washington,” Robertson said.

Asked about the GOP’s accusations, Conway’s campaign press secretary, Allison Haley, did not address the Internet videos but provided references to 2002 Courier-Journal articles that said Conway, who was running for Congress at the time, supported the Bush tax cuts.

“Eight years ago Jack was one of only a few Democrats in the country who supported the Bush tax cuts, and he believes we should extend them now — especially when so many Kentucky families and small businesses are struggling under this recession,” Haley said.

Filed Under: Barack ObamaElectionsFederal GovernmentJack ConwayRand PaulUS Senate Race

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  1. LDR says:

    In 2002, Jack also said he would have voted to invade Iraq and was for the Patriot act. If we are going back TWO flips to 2002, do let us know. It is hard to keep track, with Jack Conway.

  2. snappy says:

    so what.

  3. Eric says:

    ““I don’t think that a recession is any time to raise taxes,” Conway told CN|2 Politics in early August”

    What, were we not in a recession in May 2010 when Conway opposed the Bush tax cuts?

    What a flip-flopper!

  4. karen says:

    Nothing but a feeble attempt from the waffle king, Rand Paul to find something, anything to divert the attention from his own major inconsistencies.
    Jack Conway made a good decision on this. He’s looking out for Kentuckians during these hard economic times. The same can hardly be said about ANY of the policies of the pro rich-folks and corporate schmoozer, Rand Paul.

  5. FormerDemocrat says:

    What a cherry-picked soft moderate title if there ever was one. He’s flip-flopping! Not changing his stance.

  6. idiots says:

    “pay for tax cuts”? You pay for them by not spending money you don\’t have. It\’s that simple! How stupid are these people?

  7. ShadowJr says:

    Are you kidding? Conway won’t go along with the Obama agenda? Is Attorney General Conway serious? There is a Kentucky law that expressly prohibits property tax revenues from exceeding a 4% increase in any given year. There is a bizarre way of determining property taxes that exceeds this limit. Tax and spend Conway as Attorney General has deemed this twisted logic acceptable. So much for not raising taxes!

  8. lt says:

    Jack Conway is officially a bad democrat. Like a state such as KY will benefit from the estate tax or taxes on people making 250k+

  9. Prof. Gilligan says:

    Jack Conway also recently tried to re-brand himself as a “fiscally responsible Democrat”.

    So essentially, Jack Conway was telling us that “regular ol’ Democrats” are NOT fiscally responsible,…….but he IS fiscally responsible!

    It was truly amazing to see a Candidate for United States Senate trying to distance himself from, (and disprespecting) his OWN party in the months leading up to an election! How bazaar.

    Clearly, Jack will say whatever he thinks he needs to say just to get elected.

  10. William says:

    I’m just amazed that there is a negative Conway article.

  11. Kevinlexky says:

    What? He wasn’t looking out for Kentuckians back in May? Nonetheless, I don’t think we should criticize him for finally saying he is for extending tax cuts. I simply don’t trust that he would vote that way if elected. Oh, he’ll now say whatever he thinks will get him elected. But how would he vote? Do you trust him to go against his leadership? I have my doubts.

  12. steph says:

    and this is coming from the same idiots that give KY randy who said he would not take funds from politicians that voted for the bailouts, then after winning the nomination has these same people raise money for him and say he didn’t flip you just have to shift into a different mode for the general election. I thought Arkansas was backwords and ignorant but once again my home state has out done Arkansas.

  13. steph says:

    So people can astually say with a straight face that they are ok with comments like hey accidents just happen wehn taklking about the deaths from the oil rigs and coal mines, or with a straight face find it ok that paul wants to trim medicare except the payments he collects from the government. Hell he has his own board that certified hem maybe hea has his own accounting firm too. Which part of the Constitution do you think he doesn’t want to change. Paul or any Repub. do not get to have the say as to what needs to be changed in the Constitution. If a politician is telling you that they will change the Constitution and you believe them Eastern State has openings.

  14. Oh-oh says:

    Tactical? Earnest? Sincere? Practical?
    Yes, all the above. Just a few of these re-considerations and conservatives will bail on Paul in droves.
    Just give them a good reason and they’re out of the Good Ship Lollipop with Cap’n. Aqua Buddha.
    Smart, Jack. Now be true. Tax cuts affect us all. They need to be extended.

  15. rambo says:

    i’m with you william,it amazes me they are finally printing a negative about conway.a vote for a demcrat for senate is a vote that will kill jobs in ky.democrats are all about tax and spend.if you want to pay more taxes and less jobs vote for jack conway.

  16. William says:

    Of course, even the negative article is couched to make Conway look like a victim. “Poor Jack, he’s being criticized by the GOP.”

    If it were Paul, it would just say “Paul changes stance on Bush Tax Cuts.” Go back and look at the negative Paul articles on here, not once is the title of the article couched in such a way as to make him look victimized. But then again, he’s not Jack Conway.

    All of this matters not to me, and I applaud Jack for coming to his senses on this matter, even though I know it’s just a ploy to get moderate votes.

  17. FormerDemocrat says:

    I applaud Jack Conway for flip-flopping all over the place thereby ruining his credibility on fiscal issues such as taxes.

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