Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama flatly promised to raise taxes in a television interview Thursday afternoon.
“I will raise CEO taxes,” Obama told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“If you’re a CEO in this country you’ll probably pay more taxes,” Obama said. Obama speculated his CEO tax rates “won’t be prohibitively high, you’ll pay roughly what you did in the 90’s when they were doing fine.”
Obama also said he would eliminate the Bush tax cuts and install what he called a “middle class tax cut.”
Blitzer asked Obama to define “middle class.”
Obama replied, “You know, I think the definitions are always a little bit rough” and said “if you’re making $100,000 a year or less, then you’re pretty solidly middle class…On the other hand, if you’re making more than $100,000 and certainly if you’re making more than $200,000 or $250,000, you’re doing pretty well.”
The CNN interview was the first one Obama has held since Tuesday’s primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. In it, the Illinois senator also discussed his judicial philosophy. Obama, who has delivered constitutional lectures at University of Chicago Law School, said he thought Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “a very sensible judge.” He also hinted he would place special emphasis on civil rights protections when appointing Supreme Court judges if elected President.
“We’ve got to make sure civil liberties are protected,” Obama said. “Because oftentimes there are pressures placed on politicians to want to set civil liberties aside, especially at a time when we’ve had terrorist attacks. Making sure we maintain our separation of powers so that we don’t have a president who is takes over more and more power, I think those are all criteria by which I’d judge whether or not this is a good appointee.”