During tonight’s debate the American people will see the Republican candidates firsthand and will get a glimpse at the positions and ideology driving the field.
Over the last few months, as they have scrambled further and further to the right, American Bridge’s research and tracking has documented the candidates adopting positions that are: hypocritical (Romney and taxes), evasive (Huntsman and Libya) and just downright out of the mainstream (Bachmann and contraceptives).
Yet tonight, as the candidates face a national audience, and not solely a fawning crowd of TEA party activists, the nation will see if they will maintain their extreme positions as the candidates attempt to answer the following questions...
Huntsman: “I Don't Sign Pledges -- Other Than The Pledge Of Allegiance And A Pledge To My Wife.” According to The Hill, "Jon Huntsman explain[ed] why he won't sign any of the growing number of pledges; 'I don't sign pledges -- other than the Pledge of Allegiance and a pledge to my wife.' Huntsman said. He says he told [South Carolina Senator Jim] DeMint 'You just have to understand that's where I come down.'" [The Hill, 7/12/11]
More research after the jump
Heller Voted To Keep Oil And Gas Subsidies While Not Voting To Renew Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Heller voted to keep billions in tax breaks for oil and gas while voting against the renewable energy loan guarantee program that funded projects such as the Crescent Dunes plant in Tonopah, NV. Ian Rogoff, the executive chairman of Heliopower, an integrated energy develop company, commented that the federal government favored oil and gas companies over renewable energy, “Oil and gas tax benefits have been renewed, which means government support for those industries has been renewed ... for the most part, these incentives [such as loan guarantees] are just in place to allow these new technologies and new industries to compete effectively, and compete against incumbents.” [Las Vegas Sun, 5/25/11; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/25/11, Las Vegas Sun, 5/20/11]
Heller Voted to Protect Oil Company Tax Breaks Over Middle Class. In 2008, Heller voted to kill a one-year adjustment for the Alternative Minimum Tax with instructions that it be reported back promptly with language that would eliminate tax increases providing offsets in the bill, and provide that deductions in mileage rates for vehicles used for charitable purposes are treated the same as medical travel and moving rates. Democrats put revenue-raising offsets into the bill, arguing that the $62 billion in revenue that would be lost through the patch must be made up. The revenue increases targeted private-equity managers, the oil and gas industry, certain foreign-owned corporations and merchants who underreport their income. Republicans contended that offsets were unnecessary because the patch would simply maintain the tax status quo. They also said a temporary tax reprieve should not require permanent revenue increases and argued that the budget deficit should be closed by spending cuts, not revenue increases. Rep. McCrery, the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, offered the motion to recommit that would have removed the offsets and increased the tax deduction for miles driven for charitable purposes. McCrery warned about the proposal’s economic effects, saying “that change in our tax code would discourage, at the margin, that capital from coming to this country, being invested in this country and creating jobs in this country,” he said. The motion failed, 199-222. [Vote #454, 6/25/2008; CQ Today, 6/25/08]