Saxby Chambliss is waffling around like a dog off its leash for the first time.
He says he does not care about a “twenty year old pledge” he signed. He’s talking about the Americans for Tax Reform pledge that says he pledges not to raise taxes. He has clarified his remarks to mean he wants tax reform that increases revenue through job growth.
Everyone knows that Saxby meant he was happy to raise taxes. Now, under pressure back home, he is waffling. He covets his seat in Washington and is fearful of being primaries. Georgia has primary run-offs, whichs means he can be taken out. He cannot bring himself to say he wants to raise revenue through changing in the tax code that will cause taxes to go up, so he dances around. Behind the scenes, we all know he will work to structure a proposal that increases taxes on Americans, but he’ll cleverly make sure there are enough votes so he can vote against it. He is active and has been actively complicit with Mark Warner (D, VA) and others on raising taxes.
I started working on Saxby Chambliss’s campaign in 1994, the year he beat Craig Mathis. Mathis, who still has a bumper sticker stuck to a light pole next to Vineville Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, ran as a typical Southern Democrat. Saxby campaigned that Mathis would join Bill Clinton in raising taxes on the American people. A symbol of his commitment to not raise taxes was the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Saxby won in the 1994 Republican wave with a brilliant campaign manager named Rob Leeburn, who went on to be his Chief of Staff for a number of years.