Romney Campaign Backing Off Pledge To Balance Budget By 2020

Eric Fehrnstrom

Eric Fehrnstrom

Though Mitt Romney has previously promised that he would balance the federal budget by 2020 — which would be the final year of his theoretical second term — his campaign has struggled to explain how his budget could do that and when it would really happen. Sunday, Romney senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom appeared to backtrack from the 2020 timetable promising only a $500 billion deficit reduction by the year 2016.

On CNN’s State of the Union, Fehrnstrom was asked how long it would take Romney to balance the budget:

JIM ACOSTA (HOST): So you’re not committing to balancing this budget by the end of the second term, because Governor Romney has said out on the campaign trail, that he hopes to have it balanced by the end of the second term. You’re not saying that, that’s not in the cards this morning?

FEHRNSTROM: I think that’s an achievable objective by the end of the the second term. What he has published is a deficit reduction plan that will cut the deficit by $500 billion by the year 2016.

Watch the video:

The reason Fehrnstrom cannot make the eight-years-to-a-balanced-budget claim is that Romney’s budget will not balance the budget and would likely make the deficit even larger. The decision by the Romney campaign to reject his own running mate’s $716 billion Medicare savings means that balancing the budget by 2020 — already a pipe dream under his original plan — is now so unrealistic that even his campaign won’t call it anything more than a potentially achievable objective.