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Clinton says read my lips, no new (middle-class) taxes.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sure, she’s adopted a more populist tone, but Hillary really, really wants to look like a centrist when it comes to taxes. “Hardworking middle class families need a raise—not a tax increase,” she said during the second Democratic debate. Her campaign is now pushing that point at every opportunity, per Politico:

“Bernie Sanders has called for a roughly 9-percent tax hike on middle-class families just to cover his health care plan,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said, referring to his 2013 single-payer legislation, “and simple math dictates he’ll need to tax workers even more to pay for the rest of his at least $18-20 trillion agenda.”

Clinton drove the same point home at a rally in Dallas today. “I was actually the only one on that debate state who will commit to raise your wages and not your taxes” she said. It’s part of Clinton’s early strategy for the general election, as I’ve argued. But it could also box her in further down the road when it comes to governing. As the Washington Post’s Jim Tankersley points out, Obama made a similar pledge in 2008 that constrained his ability to support big new domestic programs.