Team Obama deploys Bill Clinton to bolster $5 trillion argument

President Obama has his work cut out for him tonight. The last debate blasted a huge hole not merely through the Democrats’ messaging on Obama’s record, but also through the vaunted image of Obama’s larger-than-life, mythically superior intelligence, and Democrats have been busily preparing for the task of repairing all of that damage. We’ll be sure to hear Obama work in a selection of his well-oiled talking points: more war-on-women nonsense, Romney’s “47 percent” remarks, and of course, the accusation that Romney’s tax plan will somehow impose a $5 trillion cost on the middle class. The Obama campaign sent out an e-mail this afternoon, subject line “What we’ll hear tonight” via Stephanie Cutter, that included a video starring everybody’s-favorite-Democratic-surrogate Bill Clinton buttressing the $5-trillion argument, since the “basic math” that supposedly proves the point is nothing more than a ginned-up fiction:

…The most blatant example of Romney doing this at the last debate was when he claimed that he didn’t have a $5 trillion tax plan that he couldn’t pay for, and that he wouldn’t cut taxes for those at the top at the expense of the middle class. That’s just not how Romney’s tax plan would work, as President Bill Clinton explains in this video. Watch it, and share it with others so they have the facts about Romney’s tax plan:

I still can’t believe Team Obama can falsely accuse Romney of proposing a tax plan that might not be able to pay for itself with a straight face, when President Obama has been running deficits of upwards of a trillion dollars every year — a concrete, zero-fabrication point on which Romney needs to keep hammering him.

The news of Obama-stimulus-recipient battery manufacturer A123 Systems filing for bankruptcy today makes for great fodder for Mitt Romney to hit him with as well, and Team Obama is already scrambling to preempt the hit, via The Hill:

Romney slammed Obama Tuesday over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by A123, a company that has received $132 million in grant funding under the 2009 stimulus law, calling it part of a “disastrous strategy of gambling away billions of taxpayer dollars.”

But Adam Fetcher, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign, hit back in what may be a preview of how Obama will address the topic if it surfaces at their second debate Tuesday night.

“Mitt Romney, who would force taxpayers to provide $4 billion a year in subsidies to oil companies making record profits, has tried time and again to discredit clean energy. But Americans aren’t buying it,” he said.

Fetcher also cited Obama’s support for soon-to-expire wind energy tax credits, which the president is asking Congress to extend but Romney opposes. The Obama campaign hopes the tax credit battle will help Obama in swing states where the wind industry has a substantial presence.

No, what Americans aren’t buying is the Obama administration deciding on economic winners and losers on their behalf, and pouring billions into ailing green-energy ventures — and then doubling down and promising to do more of the same in a second term. It’s getting really old.

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David Strom 6:01 PM on March 29, 2023