Yesterday afternoon a film crew from the Associated Press sat down to interview NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell for a story on how the Obama administration appears to be retreating from a campaign pledge to not raise taxes on Americans earning under $250,000 a year.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion. You can view the video here.
MARK SMITH, AP White House reporter (voiceover): Asked if middle class taxes might go up to fund health care, [National Economic Council member] Lawrence Summers said, "It is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out." When asked about new taxes to cover soaring deficits, [Treasury Secretary] Timothy Geithner replied, "People have to understand, we have to bring those deficits down, and it's going to be difficult."
SMITH: Conservatives were quick to say, "I told you so."
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: He's breaking lots of promises now, he can't blame George Bush for this one. He has spent us into oblivion. And now he's got to pay for it. So of course he wants to do tax increases now. He doesn't have another option.
SMITH: But at the White House, officials insist Obama stands by his pledge.
ROBERT GIBBS, White House Press Secretary: The president made a commitment in the campaign, he's clear about that commitment, and he's going to keep it. I don't know much more clear about the commitment I can be.
MARK KNOLLER, CBS News: Then why didn't Geithner and Summers say it?
GIBBS: Uh, they left it to me.
SMITH (voiceover): Despite that assurance, Americans are both worried and conflicted.
SMITH (on camera): The White House maintains the president's word on taxes is his bond, yet critics warn this may well be a classic case of Obama's soaring campaign words coming smack up against the hard realities of governing. Mark Smith, The Associated Press, the White House.