Andrew Romano points out that several GOP presidential candidates raised taxes while in office:
The point isn't… that Romney, Barbour, Daniels, Pawlenty, and Huckabee have done something wrong. In fact, quite the opposite. In the months ahead, as the great deficit debate takes shape and the 2012 campaign begins in earnest, voters should remember the reality of Republicans and taxes: that even the politicians now vying to lead the most taxophobic party in U.S. history decided to implement tax hikes when they actually had to balance a budget. It's some of the strongest evidence yet that we can't afford to take any budget-balancing options off the table—even if the people who provided it would like to pretend otherwise.
Huckabee has almost owned this. Daniels gets it. But Grover, for some reason, retains a veto. But it seems to me that a shift on this – even a minimal shift like embracing revenue-positive tax reform – really would help the GOP win over the middle. It's just very, very hard to persuade a non-ideologue that we need to cut off future grandmas from open-ended healthcare when we are also refusing to ask both the wealthy and the entire boomer generation to make any sacrifice at all.
That argument won't fly. Why not acknowledge that? And actually have more credibility on fiscal matters than Obama?