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Ross: Taxing the rich? That’s one question too many

With a cutout of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. at left, McCain adviser Steve Schmidt comes to the back of the airplane to speak to reporters on board the Straight Talk Air campaign charter airplane, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

From time to time guests walk out of interviews. But what kind of question would it take to make you walk off your own podcast?

A question about taxing the rich, as it turns out.

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt was being interviewed on the Words Matter podcast – which he founded – about his new gig consulting for Howard Schultz, who’s thinking about running as an independent presidential candidate.

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And he was making he point that Schultz is in this to change the discussion.

“A very honest conversation, a very adult conversation with the American people,” Schmidt said.

So host Adam Levine asked him why Schultz has dismissed the idea, proposed by some Democrats, of a 70 percent tax on incomes over $10 million.

“Yeah, I think he thinks it’s ridiculous, and that it’s confiscatory, and that it’s anti-growth — that would be his point,” Schmidt replied.

“Will Derek Jeter not hit another home run because they’re going to get taxed at 70? What’s the economic behavior that he thinks is anti-growth, other than his own pocket?”

“Adam, this is bulls***,” Schmidt said. “I’m not doing this.”

“Steve, you got to answer the questions.”

“I’m not.”

“You got to, Steve.”

“I’m not. I’m not.”

Headphones off, podcast over.

But you can see why he’d consider it a dumb question: If your campaign is based on the idea that only the immensely wealthy truly have the independence to do what’s right for America, why would you even consider messing with the system that made your guy rich.

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