Politics

Bilbray dodges when asked about Cantor’s admission that extending Bush tax cuts will expand the deficit.

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Today on MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews aired the clip of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) admitting that extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich would “dig the hole deeper” in terms of the national deficit. With his admission, Cantor has put Republican supply-siders in the awkward position of confronting the fact that their faith-based tax cut ideology would blow an $830 billion hole in the budget. Matthews pressed Bilbray on this point, only to witness his guest stammer and sputter to avoid answering the question directly:

MATTHEWS: Well there he is, Congressman Bilbray, your leader, your whip is now admitting that if you cut taxes, you’re raising the deficit. … Why would he say something like that that runs against your orthodoxy?

BILBRAY: The fact is, look, Chris, you can’t get around the fact –

MATTHEWS: Well the fact is that he just said that. Why did he just say that cutting taxes at this point is going to yield a lower revenue and therefore a bigger deficit? What he just said what contradicts to what you just said.

BILBRAY: We’re not even talking about cutting about taxes. We’re talking about not allowing an increase —

MATTHEWS: — continuing the Bush tax cuts is what we’re talking about. And that’s what he was talking about.

BILBRAY: And that is maintaining the status quo —

MATTHEWS: — Are you in disagreement with Eric Cantor? Just tell me you disagree with him and we’ll be on the same page.

BILBRAY: I am disagreement with anybody that thinks we can get ourselves out of this mess by raising more taxes on the American people.

Watch it:

“I oppose adding even one more dollar to the national deficit – instead we need to be paying it down,” Bilbray says on his campaign website.