In an exchange over federal tax rates at the second presidential debate, Gov. Mitt Romney made a promise to not lower tax rates on top income earners and to provide tax relief to the middle class and small business owners.
"I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that's being paid by the highest income tax payers," Romney said. "And I will not, under any circumstances, increase taxes on the middle class."
Obama, however, retorted that Romney was being dishonest, saying the Republican's campaign platform has been to reduce taxes on the wealthy, creating a financial burden on lower-income earners.
"My philosophy on taxes has been simple. ... I want to give middle-class families and and folks who are striving to get into the middle class some relief," Obama said. He said he has cut taxes on middle-class families by $3,600. "I want to continue those tax cuts for middle-class families and for small businesses."
The president added that Romney "during a Republican primary ... stood on stage and said, 'I'm going to give tax cuts.' He didn't say tax rate cuts, he said 'tax cuts to everybody,' including the top 1 percent [and] you should believe him."
Romney did not specifically deny he would reduce rates, but said those would be offset by eliminating tax loopholes for top income earners.
"If you bring rates down, it makes it easier for small business to keep more of their capital and hire people," Romney said.
Watch the entire debate on Yahoo! News:
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- Mitt Romney