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When Concerned Citizen Mitt Romney Hated The Flat Tax

The "flat tax" is a popular conservative idea, and Mitt Romney campaigned against it in January of 1996. Back then, he was supporting Bob Dole against Steve Forbes, who was running on the tax.

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In 1996, Mitt Romney supported Bob Dole for President over Steve Forbes, a flat tax proponent. Romney used $50,000 of his money to take out ads in the Boston Globe, the New Hampshire Sunday News of Manchester, the Des Moines Register, and the Boston Herald against the flat tax which ran beginning on January 21, 1996. Romney told the Boston Globe, "The problem with the Forbes flat tax is that it isn't flat at all -- it's a zero tax on the wealthy and a 17 percent tax on working Americans. I'm hoping that by running these ads voters will realize the Forbes flat tax is a gimmick, a phony, and not what it pretends to be." Romney went on to say "There are a number of flat tax proposals around that would be better than the tax system we have now. But if all we talk about is the Steve Forbes proposal we'll just cement in people's minds the notion that the Republican Party is the party of the rich." Romney thought the ad focused to much on the rich saying ""The middle class should be the priority for a tax cut," Romney said. "Those are the people struggling to pay college tuitions and make families work." The ads were signed "Mitt Romney" with the byline "A Concerned Citizen."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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