(Photo: REUTERS/Scott Eells)
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused President Barack Obama of lying for claiming the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes for the wealthy.
In a Sunday interview on ABC's "This Week," Christie was asked to respond to an Obama campaign ad in which Obama says, "Governor Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper."
"Stop Lying, Mr. President," Christie responded.
"Governor Romney is not talking about more tax cuts for the wealthy," Christie continued. "In fact, what he said is, the wealthy will pay just as much under a Romney administration as they pay today."
Christie then explained that, while all the tax rates would be cut under Romney's plan, deductions would also be eliminated such that the plan would be revenue neutral.
"The tax rate would go down, but they would lose deductions and other loopholes that would have them paying the same."
Christie also criticized Obama for saying he would reduce the deficit by four trillion dollars without specifying how he would do that.
"Really? How, Mr. President? Simpson-Bowles? You haven't endorsed your own plan. Nor has he come forward with a plan," Christie said.
Senior White House adviser David Plouffe was interviewed on the same show after Christie.
"Strong words and not true," Plouffe said about Christie's charge. "Analysts have looked at this. Someone who makes over $3 million a year would get over a quarter of a million dollar tax cut if Governor Romney's plan were to be enacted. ... The middle class need to understand, if Mitt Romney wins this presidential election, they're gonna be paying the bill, not to reduce the deficit, ... to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy."
The "analysts" that Plouffe refers to is a report by the Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center. The report was criticized for making assumptions that are not part of Romney's plan.
In response to those criticisms and the Obama campaign's use of the report to attack Romney, the Tax Policy Center updated the report in August. The update clarified that the report does not say that Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class, nor does it say that cutting rates and eliminating deductions cannot be done in a way that is revenue neutral and does not hurt the middle class more than the wealthy. The report does argue, though, that all five stated goals of Romney's tax plan are mathematically impossible.