White House, GOP can’t wait for 2012 tax battle

“It’s ultimately a question of whether Democrats believe their own rhetoric,” said one Senate GOP aide. “They seem to think that Americans are OK with raising taxes on small businesses. Republicans disagree and would love to debate that notion anytime…

But one Democratic strategist said that defending tax cuts for the wealthy will put 2012 candidates in a tough position with conservative, blue-collar primary voters.

“As a campaign issue it can play both ways — the GOP is more likely to be seen as the party of big money, big oil, big special interests, et cetera,” the strategist said. “So they would be in the position of again defending bonus tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires — not where you want to be message-wise in early primary states.”