Kaine breaks with Obama on tax cuts
July 10th, 2012
01:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Kaine breaks with Obama on tax cuts

(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia, who once headed the Democratic National Committee, disagreed with President Barack Obama on the president's call to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for households making under $250,000 per year.

Kaine, a former Virginia governor, argued the threshold should be twice as high, at $500,000.

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In a statement Monday, the Senate hopeful said raising the cut-off would protect tax cuts for the middle class and many small business owners, as well as ensure "flexibility to make critical investments" that would strengthen the economy.

"The cuts required to dig out of our fiscal hole will fall hardest on low and middle-income families," Kaine said. "Allowing the tax cuts to expire above $500,000 guarantees that all Americans have a stake in restoring fiscal responsibility and rebuilding our economy."

Kaine's differing opinion comes as he faces a heated race against Republican opponent and fellow former Gov. George Allen, who once held the Senate seat before losing his re-election bid in 2006.

Kaine, who left the DNC chairmanship last year to run for the Senate, is known to have close ties with Obama. The president and former President Bill Clinton headlined a major fund-raiser for the president's re-election effort in Virginia in April, which Kaine attended. And Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a fund-raising event for Kaine in May.

The race, which has largely been underway for the last year, is perhaps one of the most closely watch Senate races, pitting two former governors against each other and taking place in a crucial swing state.

The former governor, however, isn't the only Democrat up for election to push back against the president on the issue.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, whom Biden stumped for at a fund-raising event Monday, said in a statement she is "open" to extending the tax cuts for families that earn up to $1 million, if it's part of a "compromise that helps us get to $4-5 trillion in debt reduction."

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, also up for re-election, supports permanently extending the tax breaks for "everybody making less than $1 million," his office said in a statement.

Filed under: President Obama • Tim Kaine • Virginia
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Laura, Boston

    Pelosi and Chuckie Shumer want it to be a million. The dems can't get anything straight except the talking points of the day. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is now stuttering when she talks because she knows she is spewing nothing but lies. No I am not a republican nor a democrat so I can see things clearly. I have no horse in this race!

    July 10, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Sandy

    This is what's wrong with the Democrats. They don't stick together! Get your butt in line Kaine. There is nothing wrong with $250,000. You're probably mad because you fall into that category.

    July 10, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. obama victim

    dumbocrats eating their own

    get as far away as you can from obozo

    July 10, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Bill from GA

    At some point we are going to have to pay for this country. ALL of the Bush tax cuts need to expire in the NEAR future.

    Like if Mitts says to Ann: "Dear, we want a new Cadillac for you, but we will only pay as much as a Kia!"
    Lots of Luck.

    Maybe these Gutless Dems and Conservative repugs don't think America is worth so much.

    And let's cut waste too, starting with Congressional funding!

    July 10, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. William Zimmerman

    Worried about re-election ? I think so ! Some Dems want $1 Million, some want $ 500k. No wonder the President has so many problems getting his message across. Start with $250k , (which my wife and I combined don't make), and go from there. If you are more worried about re-election than the State of the Union, step down and find another line of work.

    July 10, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Amazing

    At the edn of the day, there are essentialy aligned on the approach. This is difference in the cut-off level but I am syre that they will work through it. This is not a significant difference of opinion despite CNN's attempt to have a Fox News like headline!

    July 10, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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