Although a majority of Americans support a rule that would tax millionaires as much the middle class, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) said on Sunday that his party was not wrong for opposing the policy.
In an interview on CNN, host Candy Crowley pointed to a recent Gallup poll that found that 60 percent of Americans -- including 63 percent of independent voters -- backed the so-called "Buffett Rule," which was named after billionaire Warren Buffett because his "secretary" pays a higher tax rate than he does.
"Politically, it appears you are on the wrong side of this," Crowley told RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
"I don't think so," Priebus replied. "I think that people, once they see what this is all about, once they see what this strategy of Barack Obama is all about -- it's all about dividing and conquering."
"I mean, let's face it -- and we all know what this is. This is a shiny object that Barack Obama wants the country to look at, which as you know, if you added up every dollar of revenue that this little rule would put into place, if you took every dollar over a year, it would add up to paying for 11 hours of the federal government."
"My point is that, politically, you all seem to be losing this argument," Crowley pressed. "There is a fairness issue here that people look back and say, why shouldn't millionaires pay more in taxes?"
"Part of the problem here, Candy, is we're not just talking about millionaires," Priebus insisted. "We're talking about small businesses, pass-through S corporations. We're talking about a president who promised he would get the economy back on track, that he would lower unemployment below 8 percent. ... The point of this is here we are talking about one single, tiny alteration of the tax code -- which he said that he would reform completely -- that amounts to 11 hours."
"This is Obama's strategy: 'Look over here at the shiny object here -- don't look at the big picture, an economy on the brink that I didn't do a thing about and made things worse.' That's what this is about."
Watch to the video below from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast on April 15, 2012.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)