INDIANAPOLIS – In the wake of the release of his first commercial where he assailed government debt, Rep. Braun has yet to make clear if he supports the House GOP’s tax plan – a bill that his party and two Washington Republican primary competitors support, but which conservatives have assailed for blowing up the nation’s debt.
While the full ramifications of the House GOP’s tax bill are still becoming clear, many Republicans are lining up with their party’s elites behind that legislation, including Congressmen Messer and Rokita. Rep. Braun is now likely the most notable Hoosier Republican name who has yet to comment publicly about the tax legislation.
If his new ad is to be believed, however, one of the few things that Rep. Braun has made clear during his campaign is that he’s a fiscal conservative. The direct-to-camera TV spot, unveiled Monday, tries to establish himself as a fiscal conservative as he claims that “Washington’s inaction has cost our country trillions in debt and lost opportunity.”
That stance might suggest that he opposes the GOP effort. After all, Republicans in congress started their tax reform attempt by passing a budget resolution that would increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The proposal was assailed by columnist Brian Howey, who also went after Republicans like Vice President Pence, Congressman Messer, and Congressman Rokita for supporting the resolution after also claiming to be fiscal conservatives. “All these years, the deficit hawk stuff was just BS,” Howey said of the men.
One thing that is clear – with Rep. Braun announcing that he’s a top-tier candidate as the first Republican of the cycle to go up with TV ads, he’ll no longer be able to escape the same questions that have dogged Congressmen Messer and Rokita. With Rep. Braun continuing to stay silent on the issue, it’s only a matter of time before Congressmen Messer and Rokita accuse him of trying to stay out of the tax fight entirely.
“Rep. Braun may splash his money around like a top-tier candidate, but he seems more interested in hiding off the campaign trail than explaining where he stands on the issues he’d have to vote on in the U.S. Senate,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Does Rep. Braun oppose this push and stand up against the President on one of his biggest legislative efforts yet? Or does he side with party leaders in support of a budget resolution that would have added trillions to the debt?”