Romney now says Obama healthcare a tax

2012-07-05 09:01

Washington - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday contradicted his campaign's stance on a key part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, saying its individual insurance mandate amounts to a tax rather than a penalty.

A Romney campaign aide said on Monday that the former Massachusetts governor viewed it as a penalty, a politically sensitive distinction among voters opposed to higher taxes. In reversing course, Romney cited the Supreme Court decision last week.

"Well, the Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is that Obamacare is a tax," Romney said in a CBS television interview. "So it's a tax. They decided it was constitutional. So it is a tax and it's constitutional."

Obama's campaign accused Romney of contradicting both his staff and himself.

When the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare law as constitutional last week, it also declared that the fee charged to most Americans who refuse to buy health insurance amounted to a tax - and not a penalty, as Obama has called it.

On the campaign trail, this was red meat to Republicans who accuse Obama of imposing the biggest tax in US history through his insurance mandate. They maintain it disproves the president's stance that he has not raised taxes on the middle class.

Contradiction claims

Romney's campaign, however, on Monday in effect undercut his party's assault on the president over healthcare. A campaign spokesperson, Eric Fehrnstrom, said Romney did not see the mandate as a tax but as a penalty, just as Obama had said.

Romney rejected, however, any conclusion that a healthcare insurance mandate had been a tax when he implemented one as Massachusetts governor, something Obama has called a model.

The states need not call an individual mandate a tax for it to be constitutional, Romney summarised the Supreme Court as having concluded. "And as a result, Massachusetts' mandate was...a penalty, was described that way by the legislature and by me, and so it stays as it was," he said.

Danny Kaner, an Obama campaign spokesperson, accused Romney of contradicting both his own campaign and himself.

"Romney has called the individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts a tax many times before," he said, supplying a list of quotations going back to 2006.

Romney's remarks on healthcare put him more squarely in line with Republican conservatives who have long feared that he is not truly one of their own.

  • chas.holman - 2012-07-05 09:14

    So Governor Romney's guy/campaign has running around for 2 days DEMANDING it WASN'T a tax (while his little minions in the GOP were prancing around DEMANDING it was). Is anyone surprised that Governor Romney has ZERO convictions on ANYTHING? They call him 'etch a sketch' but to me he is more like a mixture of silly putty and weather-vane..Totally goofy and any which way the wind blows. I mean at what point does even his most ardent supporters say 'this is just getting pathetic, the whole darn campaign'? Anything to get the Christian guy out of office.

      lukhanyo.noma - 2012-07-05 10:52

      well we should hve seen ths cming ths romey'romney guy has no clue what is happening on his own bck yard .fonney

      dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:15

      i agree with you, its crazy how often he keeps changing his mind on this like obama care and abprtion etc yet he STILL has supporters?!?!? wtf!!! ron paul should be up against obama not this stupid creature

  • badballie - 2012-07-05 11:18

    Romney is heir to a family fortune secured in offshore accounts, he is of course the darling of the upper class (1%ers) precisely because he is one of them, and can be trusted to ensure that the upper class's tax obligation remains smaller than what the middle-class pays. That the American public cannot recognize that its candidates are put forward by the upper class and that the vote is in real terms a hollow and pointless in terms of any real change never ceases to surprise.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-05 11:42

      Americans get so enthralled by the virtual democracy that they haven't notice that the real one has vanished. A people as gullible as Americans have no future.

  • lebogang.molefo - 2012-07-06 09:58

      dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:18

      nice glad someone else has watched it :)

  • dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:19

    watch this clip on fli flop mitt

  • dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:21

    here is a legend Ron Paul

  • dane.herbst.5 - 2012-07-06 11:22

    another good clip on ron paul

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