Faced with the Supreme Court’s surprising decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, the Republican Party spin machine has gone into overdrive, as GOP leaders and strategists try to use the ruling to argue that the law amounts to a massive tax increase on middle-class Americans.
But the party’s presidential nominee isn’t getting on board with the new message.
In an interview with MSNBC Monday, Mitt Romney’s top campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom strayed wildly from the GOP party line, saying that the former Massachusetts governor believes Obama’s healthcare mandate is a penalty, not a tax
“The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court,” Fehrnstrom told host Chuck Todd. “He agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice [Antonin] Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.”
Fehrnstrom’s remarks underscores the major difficulty that Romney has with the healthcare debate, putting the GOP nominee in awkward agreement with the Obama administration, and at odds with his party.
The problem, of course, is that the healthcare reform Romney passed as Governor of Massachusetts also included the individual mandate, which imposed an even higher “tax” or “penalty” than the one in Obama’s healthcare law.
Watch the full interview below, courtesy of MSNBC:
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