While you were prepping the grill for that Fourth of July banquet of hot dogs and hamburgers, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday walked back his campaign’s firm statement that put him in rare agreement with President Barack Obama.
A penalty for those who don’t purchase health insurance may be a federal mandate, but it’s not a tax, a Romney campaign spokesman said 48 hours ago. His boss contradicted him today:
Said Romney in the CBS interview:
”Now the Supreme Court has spoken. And while agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court thinks it’s a tax – and therefore, it is a tax. They have spoken. There’s no way around that. You can say you wish they’d decided it a different way, but they didn’t. They concluded it was a tax. That’s what it is. And the American people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans.”
Monday’s statement by Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom, who said Romney agreed with Obama on what label to give the no-insurance penalty, had put the likely GOP nominee at odds with many other Republicans in Washington, including U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who immediately began using the U.S. Supreme Court’s re-definition as a new argument for repeal of the president’s health care overhaul.
On the other hand, Romney – though he didn’t do it today — will now be required to explain why a similar penalty imposed on Massachusetts residents while he was governor doesn’t also qualify as a tax.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider