In a statement late Wednesday, Goodwin spokeswoman Rebecca Gale said Goodwin would support a short-term extension of all of the tax cuts, although he "does not believe that the Bush tax cuts for a few of the wealthiest Americans are fiscally sustainable over the long term."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has tried to portray Manchin as a liberal ally of Obama, on Wednesday issued a press statement calling the governor a flip-flopper on tax policies and energy issues. The committee accused Manchin of trying to "reinvent himself politically."
But Ted Boettner, director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said Manchin's position doesn't come as a surprise.
Manchin's tax policies as governor have tended to favor the wealthy, Boettner said.
For instance, his administration has begun gradual phase-outs of corporate net income taxes and the business franchise tax, Boettner said, though he added that the governor also implemented a tax credit that helps working families.
More than 99 percent of West Virginians make less than $200,000, Boettner said. The state has the lowest proportion in the nation of people whose incomes are higher than that.
In a statement, the office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Rockefeller strongly supports extending the tax cuts for the middle class only.
"Rockefeller has long believed that these enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans are fiscally irresponsible," the statement said, "and it has now been well proven that they are an ineffective way to stimulate the economy or create jobs."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., favors extending the tax cuts for all. In a recent op-ed in the Gazette, she wrote that Americans "should not be burdened with higher taxes when there are other ways to reign in the deficit and lower the debt."
Reach Alison Knezevich at alis...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.