Title – Read McCain’s Lips

By Julia Hoppock

Jul 29, 2008 7:37am

My former next-door neighbor Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review takes note of an apparent flip-flop by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on taxes.

In March 2007 McCain told Ponnuru the following:

Ponnuru: If you could get the Democrats to agree, or at least to come to the table on entitlements or on tax simplification, are those circumstances under which you’d be willing to accept a tax increase?

Sen. McCain: No; no.

PONNURU:  No circumstances?

Sen. McCain: No. None. None.

But on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Sunday McCain sounded a bit different,  saying of Social Security, "I am a supporter of sitting down together and putting everything on the table and coming up with an answer. So, there is nothing I would take off the table. There was nothing I would demand. I think that’s the way that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did it. And that’s what we have to do again…

"I have said and will say, I will say that everything has to be on the table, if we’re going to reach a bipartisan agreement," McCain continued. "I’ve been in bipartisan negotiations before. I know how you reach a conclusion. We all have to sit down together with everything on the table."

Asked George: "So, that means payroll tax increases are on the table, as well?"

"There is nothing that’s off the table," McCain responded. "I have my positions, and I’ll articulate them. But nothing’s off the table. I don’t want tax increases. Of course I’d like to have young Americans have some of their money put into an account with their name on it. But that doesn’t mean that anything is off the table."

- jpt

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