Romney Repeatedly Dodges Questions About Raising Taxes To Boost Massachusetts’ Credit Rating

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa

When Standard & Poor’s announced its downgrade of the United States’ credit rating last week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential campaign seized the opportunity to remind voters that while he was governor, S&P raised his state’s credit rating.

“When I was governor, S&P rewarded Massachusetts with a credit rating upgrade for our sound fiscal management and the underlying strength of our economy,” Romney said in a statement. “That didn’t happen by accident. The president’s failure to put the nation’s fiscal and economic house in order has caused a massive loss of confidence that resulted in an embarrassing downgrade.”

What Romney failed to mention, however, was that his administration persuaded S&P to boost that rating by providing evidence that Romney had increased government revenues by about $1 billion, as Politico’s Ben Smith reported Wednesday.

At the Iowa State Fair today, multiple reporters attempted to ask him about the report after he finished his speech to voters. Romney, however, refused to answer any questions, ignoring S&P-related questions from both ThinkProgress and CNN. At one point, Romney stopped to explain that he would only take questions at pre-scheduled media availabilities, the last of which was held before Politico’s report was published Wednesday:

ROMNEY: If you’d like to answer questions, I’ll be happy to answer at one of my press availabilities.

Watch it:

Romney reiterated that he would not raise taxes if he was elected president. But by dodging the questions, Romney refused to address the fact that taxes did increase on his watch, and that Massachusetts earned its upgrade by taking the balanced approach to spending and revenues Republicans — including Romney — now oppose.