WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Two senior campaign aides in the U.S. presidential race Sunday defended the impact of their respective platform planks on middle-class tax rates.
Both President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have made tax relief for the middle class a top campaign priority, the two aides said on ABC's "This Week."
"This is a campaign that's very focused on the middle class," said senior Romney adviser Kevin Madden "Gov. Romney has made it very clear that what he's doing is putting forth an economic vision ... that's focused on helping the middle class, so that we have more jobs and more take-home pay."
Madden said Romney's plan to cut capital gains taxes was not a sweetheart deal to further enrich the wealthy but rather a way into encourage middle-class workers to invest and save more.
Madden also alleged Obama planned to stick it to the middle class by raising taxes on small businesses that are key U.S. job creators. "It's going to hurt so many people across the country, and it's not going to do what we need to do in this economy right now, which is create more jobs and provide more incentives for people to hire," he said.
Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, said Madden's assertions about small business were actually tied to Romney's goal of maintaining Bush-era tax reductions for upper-income Americans.
"We all know that it has nothing to do with small- business growth," Cutter contended. "Ninety-eight percent of small businesses are below $250,000. If that tax cut for the wealthy was so important to growth, then why did we retract as an economy under the Bush administration?"