Loughlin on taxes, Boehner, climate change + more
As previously noted, John Loughlin wasted little time in planning the launch of his general election campaign against David Cicilline. The Republican made his entrance by carrying his podium to a sunny spot in front of the state Department of Administration. Press interest was strong. (And Loughlin already has another news conference, on small business, set for tomorrow).
Here’s the short form of the tax issue, the ostensible reason for the newser:
Loughlin says he will not vote to raise taxes on any Rhode Islander, and he wants to continue the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are due to expire next year. (In response to my question, he says he doesn’t call them the Bush tax cuts since Congress had a role in passing them.)
(Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers says the Democratic CD1 candidate opposes any tax hikes for “hard-working middle-class Rhode Islanders,” but opposes Bush-era tax breaks for individuals earning more than $250,000.)
Some related highlights from Loughlin’s press event:
Jim Baron from the Times of Pawtucket asked Loughlin about his statement that Cicilline would be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi. So, Baron wondered, would the Tiverton Republican be a rubber stamp for John Boehner?
I would answer that, Jim, by saying, just take a look at the record; Have I been a rubber stamp for Governor Carcieri’s agenda? I’ve always been an independent thinker — that’s the hallmark of my time in the General Assembly, and it certainly will be the hallmark of my time in Washington.
Loughlin was a little cute slightly dodging questions about national Republican interest in helping him (Tim White has more on this topic, following up on a question raised here). Loughlin said he’d welcome assistance, of course.
The NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] has not made a contribution to my campaign, to my knowledge, they’ve haven’t made a contribution to anybody’s at this point.
Steve Klamkin from WPRO asked what kind of campaign the Republican expects and hopes for with Cicilline:
You know, I’m not going to try to war-game what my opponent’s campaign will be. I will tell you that my campaign is and continues to be issues-based.
Sean Daly of Channel 12 queried on the Scott Brown comparisons:
He’s a lot taller than I was, for one thing, and his truck was newer [Loughlin drives a pickup]. I mean, uh, everybody likes to draw comparisons to other races. I think that this race is unique. Keep in mind that I had entered this race before anyone had even heard of Scott Brown.
Michelle Smith of the AP asked about Loughlin’s views on climate change:
I think that there is, in fact, climate change. I think the data is unclear as to the extent of man-caused climate change. When you look at the total percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, a good number of them — in fact, the vast majority — are naturally occuring.
Certainly, the data that has come out lately has cast some cold water on those who have adopted climate change, man-caused climate change, as a religion, and I think that we need to take a much, much closer look at real actual data to make sure, in fact, we’re not creating more of a problem by thinking we have more of an influence than we do.
I worked for the space program, for example. And in 1976, we put a lander on Mars, and from 1976 to the present day, surface temperatures on the surface of Mars have risen. So that tells me that there are forces that are causing global warming that may be outside those controlled by man.