Wait a minute… I see he said this yesterday, which means, I suppose, we might hear something else today. But in the meantime, here’s what he said yesterday:
UPDATE: And now we’ve come full circle in all the “penalty” vs “tax” talk. Mitt Romney has spoken and clearly affirmed that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is a tax, directly contradicting his senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, who had said earlier this week that it was a penalty. Romney tried to explain the contradiction by noting in an interview with CBS News that it was all about the Supreme Court’s majority opinion. “While I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken. There’s no way around that,” Romney said.
When Romney was asked whether the fact that he was unequivocally calling the mandate a tax meant he had changed positions on the issue, the Republican focused on President Obama, saying he “has broken the pledge he made” because “it’s now clear that his mandate, as described by the Supreme Court, is a tax.”
Obama’s campaign, however, quickly seized the opportunity to say that Romney “contradicted his own campaign, and himself,” reports the Washington Post…
You ever see such a case of somebody trying to have it every which way?
Roughly, here’s the timeline:
- Romney pushes through health care reform as governor, and it includes a mandate that everyone have insurance. He goes around bragging about it for years, as well he might…
- But then, President Obama pays him the complement of pushing health care reform that does the very same thing, and suddenly Mitt’s not so proud of what he’d done, because he wants the votes of people who spit on the ground every time Obama’s name gets mentioned. If Obama did it, the thinking goes, it’s evil. So Romney quits bragging.
- Then, the court says it’s not a mandate; it’s a tax. And the GOP seizes on that, because if there’s anything nearly as evil as Barack Obama in their book, it’s a tax.
- But then Romney’s aide says the court’s wrong, because Romney, having created just such a mandate, ought to know a mandate when he sees one. Which stands to reason.
- But then Romney adopts a position of Hey, what do I know? It may look like a mandate to me and this other fella, but the court says it’s a tax, so it’s a tax. And taxes are bad, harrumph, harrumph.
At this point, is there anyone left in the country, of any philosophical bent, who’s enthusiastic about voting for Mitt Romney in the fall? Oh, some are eager to vote against Obama; that hasn’t changed. But are they pumped about voting for Romney? I doubt it…