First Debate for GOP 2012: Tax Deal

Tea Partiers hate it, mainstream contenders support it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2010 10:57 AM CST
In this Feb. 7, 2010 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sends a message to her mother, written on her left hand, at a campaign rally for Texas Gov. Rick Perry in Cypress, Texas.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
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(Newser) – There’s still a while to go before the official 2012 debates begin—but we have the first unofficial one on our hands, in the form of President Obama’s tax deal. Despite strong support in a vote Monday (only five Republican senators voted against it), 2012 contenders are drawing the battle lines and making it clear they’re either strongly for the deal—or strongly against it. In doing so, they’re making their feelings on taxes and government spending well-known, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Those against the deal, like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Mike Pence, say the bill costs too much and is actually more like a stimulus. Those for the deal, like Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich, praise the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Yesterday, another contender, Sen. John Thune, appeared to critique an op-ed written by Romney, and said critics are only against the deal because it is “politically expedient” for them. Many in the Tea Party strongly oppose the deal as too “big government.”

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