Begala and Kristol part 2: Tax rates, tax returns and vice presidential contenders

07/19/2012 06:01 PM

Democratic strategist Paul Begala said President Barack Obama has the political high ground by pushing for increases on taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 annually and that the issue has helped reinvent the Democratic Party.

“They’ve handed what I think is a terrific issue. I think he’s on the right side of the policy but I know he’s on the right side of the politics,” Begala said (1:00 of the video).

And while William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said he thought the Democrats had scored some political points on Mitt Romney through the issue, they’re wrong on it.

Kristol countered that Americans don’t want to see taxes raised on anyone. But politically, he said “it’s not a bad idea to beat up Republicans as the party of the rich.”

“And honestly, Mitt Romney as a candidate makes that a lot easier,” Kristol added. (3:30).

Kristol said Romney “probably should release his tax returns just to get that out of the way.” (5:15)

Begala and Kristol were in Louisville Tuesday to speak at the annual Kentucky Chamber of Commerce meeting and sat down for a joint interview with Pure Politics. They first talked about the overview of the race and then about the issues of taxes, Romney’s former employer Bain Capital and health care:

Later, Kristol offered his take at the chamber’s dinner on which Republicans might make the best running mate for Romney — and which type of running mate Romney is likely to pick:

And Begala fielded a question from Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, about whether it was a wise political move for Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler to skip the Democratic National Convention in September. Chandler is facing a tough re-election against Republican challenger Andy Barr.


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