Likewise, all the discussion of campaign pledges doesn’t change who Mitt Romney was as Governor in Massachusetts. The reality is Mr. Romney has made campaign promises regarding taxes in the past, promises that certainly didn’t translate into tax relief for the citizens of Massachusetts. Mr. Romney, for example, ran for Governor claiming he would reduce the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent. Ask any Massachusetts resident how that’s working out for them—they’re all still paying that 5.3% rate.
As to the claim that “some might find [Mayor Giuliani’s] record troubling,” I’d be interested to know who, exactly, Mr. Conda is referring to. Certainly not the Club For Growth’s President Pat Toomey, who’s examination of the Mayor’s record led him to conclude that “In the face of such tremendous headwind, Giuliani’s economic accomplishments are remarkable.” Suffice it to say that Governor Romney would prefer that forceful commendation of his record to take the place of Mr. Toomey’s statement that “[Romney’s] record on taxes, spending, and entitlement reform is flawed …”
Mr. Conda then moves to Mayor Giuliani’s support of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, pointing out that all the major Republican candidates agree on this issue. Which may be true—today. But Mitt Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts in 2003, when the President needed that help. When it counted the most, Mitt Romney stood with Ted Kennedy and not the President. Talk about someone’s actions casting “doubt on his commitment to the low-tax, economic conservatism that have been a basic pillar of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan”--while that very Republican Party was whipping support for the most important conservative economic initiative since Reagan resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Romney chose to abandon pro-growth principles and the conservatives who have long fought for them. Clearly, Mr. Romney’s instincts lead him first to the position of political expediency, and not always the position of economic prosperity.
Rudy Giuliani is the proven fiscal conservative running for President. He doesn’t need to speak in abstracts and theoreticals, and he doesn’t need to obscure his record with attacks on his opponent. Why? Because he has actively and effectively governed as a conservative, and that’s exactly how he’ll govern as President. Rudy has seen what real pro-growth policies, and the determination to get them implemented, can do to benefit the people he serves. The same can’t be said for Mr. Romney—or, unfortunately for them, the people of Massachusetts.
Joe Lhota served as New York City’s deputy mayor for operations (1998 - 2001) and budget director (1995 – 1999) during the administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani.