Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a “town hall meeting” via telephone this evening with Iowans, accusing President Obama of “dragging down the White House” with the tone of Obama campaign commercials. One of the participants, a man named Stan from Sioux City, brought up the topic of the campaign ads.
“One that particularly bothers me concerning you is that the opposition keeps saying you’re going to…provide tax cuts for the millionaires,” Stan said. “…How can they run ads like that and what’s your response?”
Romney replied: “Well, you know, it seems like truth has been the victim of some of the Obama campaign advertising.”
AUDIO of Romney answering Stan from Sioux City’s question
Romney told the Iowans listening on the phone line that he “will not lower taxes for high-income Americans.”
“The top one percent will keep paying the same share that they paying today,” Romney said. “We’ll make sure, also, that middle-income Americans don’t pay more taxes. In fact, my plan cuts taxes for middle-income taxpayers.”
Romney also took issue with another Obama ad which questions Romney’s plan for Medicare.
“It really is dragging down the White House, in my opinion, to say things that are untrue like that,” Romney said.
Romney suggested he would have a chance to respond directly to the president’s campaign ads next week in their first face-to-face debate.
“He’ll probably reiterate some of those arguments and those statements and I’ll just have to come down hard and say, “Mr. President, you know that’s not true,'” Romney said. “And, you know, you hope to see something better than that from someone who’s serving as president of the United States.”
Romney held a number of tele-town hall meetings in the months leading up to the 2012 Iowa Caucuses and then held another one this past May. At the end of tonight’s call, Romney reminded those listening on the phone line that early voting starts this Thursday in Iowa.
“I would very much like to have your support,” Romney said. “For all we know, Iowa could be the state that chooses the next president.”
According to a spokesman for the Romney campaign, “tens of thousands” of Iowans were given the option to join tonight’s call, but a tally of participants is not available.
A spokeswoman for Obama’s Iowa campaign issued a written statement in response to Romney’s remarks.
“It certainly takes a lot of chutzpah for Mitt Romney–after his campaign bragged that it wouldn’t be dictated by fact checkers–to shed crocodile tears over a legitimate discussion of his record and policies,” said Erin Seidler, communications director for Obama’s Iowa campaign.
(This story was updated at 8:50 p.m. with additional information.)