Former Virginia governor and senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) during a Thursday debate with Republican rival George Allen said he'd be open to a "proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone."
"Do you believe that everyone in Virginia should pay something in federal income tax?" moderator David Gregory asked.
"Everyone pays taxes -- I mean, the statistics that have come out --" Kaine started to say.
"I’m asking about federal income tax."
"I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone. But I do insist, many of the 47 percent that Gov. Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their taxes than he does," Kaine clarified.
As noted by the good folks at the Washington Free Beacon, Kaine’s position on taxation has been steadily shifting away from President Barack Obama:
"President Obama wants the Bush tax cuts to expire for people earning over $250,000; George Allen wants to make all the tax cuts permanent. There’s a middle ground. Let the tax cuts expire for those earning over $500,000," Kaine says in the ad.
However, despite the ad's attempt at presenting an evenhanded candidate, Kaine openly stating during a debate that he'd consider imposing a mandatory minimum tax on all individuals probably won't help his election cause. In fact, not long after these remarks, Republican rival George Allen pounced.
"It’s typical of Tim Kaine. His record is always one looking to raise taxes," Allen said, adding that most Americans already pay payroll and sales taxes. "When he was governor, he tried to raise taxes on people earning as little as $17,000 a year. He wanted to raise taxes on buying used cars."
"So for him to say he wants everyone to be paying federal income taxes is typical of that approach," Allen added.
But Kaine isn't backing down from his comments.
"I do not believe you start with: 'I pledge allegiance to [anti-tax advocate] Grover Norquist. No taxes. Never. We can’t have $1 of revenue even for $10 of cuts. We can’t find any savings on the defense side,'" Kained said.
"You don’t start with the non-negotiables and the pledges. The pledge is your oath of office," he added.
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Front Page photo source courtesy the AP. This story has been updated.