Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs slammed Mitt Romney’s presidential debate performance as “theatrical” and “dishonest,” charging that the GOP presidential nominee’s plans lacked detail, with “Big Bird” being the only specific item Romney said he would cut from the federal budget.
“Governor Romney had a masterful theatrical performance just this past week, but the underpinnings and foundation of that performance were fundamentally dishonest,” Gibbs told me this morning on “This Week.”
“Look, the only thing he outlined that he would cut in the budget is Big Bird,” Gibbs added. “He’s taken the battle straight to Sesame Street and let Wall Street run hog wild.”
The Obama campaign has attacked Romney for his budget and tax plans, which would seek to lower tax rates across the board, but also close certain loopholes in order to maintain current revenues for the government. But Romney has been criticized for not specifying which loopholes he would close, with Obama charging in last week’s debate that Romney’s plans would cut tax revenues by $5 trillion.
“You cannot cut taxes by $5 trillion, as he’s doing, and simply say, oh, I don’t have that tax cut,” Gibbs said, adding, “We’ve seen this movie before, where people say, ‘Oh, don’t worry, it’s all going to get paid for, it’s fine.’ When you ask them, what loopholes will you close specifically for wealthy earners to help pay for the $4.8 trillion in reduced revenue, there’s no answer.”
“Let’s be clear, if you’re willing to say anything to get elected president, if you are willing to make up your positions and walk away from them, I think the American people have to understand, how can they trust you if you are elected president?” Gibbs asked.
I also spoke with Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie, who compared the Obama campaign’s reaction after the first presidential debate to that of a child that just lost a checker game.
“The Obama campaign, they remind me a little bit of a 7-year-old losing a checker game, and then instead of being frustrated at the outcome, they sweep the board off the table,” Gillespie told me this morning.
Gillespie also defended Romney for saying that he would cut PBS funding during last week’s debate.
“Big Bird, I can tell you, as the father of three children, grown now, but any father who has gone to a toy store knows that Big Bird is a pretty commercially successful entity,” Gillespie said. “Big Bird would be pretty successful, I suspect, without a government federal subsidy and all that debt.”
When I asked Gillespie about the former Massachusetts governor’s plan to lower tax rates, and the potential impact that could have on the federal deficit, Gillespie insisted that Romney is “not going to increase the deficit in bringing down the rates and broadening the base.”
I also asked Gibbs about Vice President Joe Biden’s comments last week that the middle class has been “buried” for the past four years.
“I don’t think that was a gaffe,” Gibbs said. “We’ve been digging out from what was an avalanche of bad economic decisions over the past eight years during the Bush administration. What Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to do is take us back to that exact same failed economic theory.”