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Town Square

Romney agrees with Obama on Healthcare not a tax - RomneyCare was not a tax

Original post made by Kerry Barnes on Jul 2, 2012

Today on Morning Joe (Scarbourough, conservative former GOP congressman) Eric Fehrnstrom, chief of staff of the Romney campaign:

FEHRNSTROM: "The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax."

Eric is the guy who carries Mitt Romney's Etch-A-Sketch around the campaign trail, instantly ready to erase Mitt's past:

FEHRNSTROM: "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again."

The whole segment:

Host: What you just said is that Governor Romney agrees that it's not a tax. But you guys call it a penalty.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM (TOP ROMNEY AIDE): The governor disagreed with the court. He agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.

Host: So ... I think we're talking around each other. The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax, that's what you're saying?

FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax.

Host: But he agrees with the president that it is not, that you shouldn't call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?

FEHRNSTROM: That's correct.

Conservatives beware, Mitt agrees with Obama on RomneyCare/ObamaCare/ Heritage plan, etc.. The EtchASketch is being used with increased frequency

Conservatives need a third party Tea Party candidate in Tampa. Or it's a another Obama/McCain blowout - Obama by at least 75 EV's.

Comments

Posted by Kimmie, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:39 am

Here come the crazies -- it's a zillion dollar tax on everyone, itts a goverment takeover, even though we all use private insurance, Obamas a socialist etc.

But Mitt agrees.

Not a tax.


Posted by stupid election plan, a resident of Ventura
on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

Wingnutville ignores that we get all the great things from RomneyObamaCare and all they can scream about is some stupid tax thing thatRomey disagrees with.

Stupidest election campaign of all time. Keep it up, Mitt.


Posted by Kerry Barnes, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

Not a tax, as Mitt says, and the President's statement from another thread:

- "First, if you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance -- this law will only make it more secure and more affordable.

- Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive.

- They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.

- They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick.

- They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason.

- They are required to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms -- a provision that's already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance.

- And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care.

There's more.

- Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent's health care plans -- a provision that's already helped 6 million young Americans.

- And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs -- a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.

All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act."


Posted by disninformation campaign, a resident of Woodside
on Jul 4, 2012 at 10:28 am

Romney made a splash on Thursday, the day of the Roberts decision and hasn't alked about it since. He gets it. And Frum gets it.

It's the law. The rest don't get it.

Frum: "The Republican Plan B is to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of a Romney presidency.

Good luck with that.

First, today's Supreme Court decision will make it a lot harder to elect Mitt Romney. President Obama has just been handed a fearsome election weapon. 2012 is no longer exclusively a referendum on the president's economic management. 2012 is now also a referendum on Mitt Romney's healthcare plans. The president can now plausibly say that a vote for the Republicans is a vote to raise prescription drug costs on senior citizens and to empower insurance companies to deny coverage to children for pre-existing conditions. Those charges will hurt—and maybe hurt enough to sway the election."

Prediction by a lot of astute watchers -- this is the point that the slow ebb and flow becomes, not a tidal wave, but a flow to Obama. It's already started in the swing states - Obama up by 8 in that one outlier by NBC. It'll go slowly through the dog days, a bump for Mitt on the VP choice and another at the convention, but it's done. Over. It'll stil be close, but the cake is baked. Obama by 75 E votes, maybe losing NC. Pop will be cloaser, but doesn't matter.

No one's willing to admit it yet.

The GOP recriminations, especially between the mainstream corporatists, the Rove moneyed elite and the Tea party astroturfers and it's real grassroots base, will be ugly.

Splinters, unless someone rides through to keep the GOP together for 2014.



Posted by disninformation campaign, a resident of Woodside
on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

The following is why I think it's the beginning of the end for Mitt. That's obviously a prediction, we'll see.

After almost a week of hiding after his comment on the Roberts Court decision, Mitt came out of hiding and flipflopped like a fish all over the place. From Politico:

"In an interview with CBS today, Mitt Romney contradicted his own campaign, and himself. First, he threw his top aide Eric Fehrnstrom under the bus by changing his campaign's position and calling the free rider penalty in the President's health care law -- which requires those who can afford it to buy insurance -- a tax. Second, he contradicted himself by saying his own Massachusetts mandate wasn't a tax -- but, Romney has called the individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts a tax many times before.

Glad we cleared all that up."

Mitt's started with the talking point that the freerider penalty was a middle class tax hike, an absurd and fact free notion.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

The flip flops are a real problem, especially with his record and legendary prowess at flipflopping.

Web Link


Posted by Kerry Barnes, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:45 am

I don't think anyone cares whether it is a tax or a penalty accessed through the tax code.

Americans DO CARE when they see Mitt call it a tax a few years ago, then insist RomneyCare is a penalty, then his campaign says again it's a penalty this week, then Mitt (with enough stalling to see what the polls tell him to say) calls it a tax again.

A quadruple Mitt flip flop?

It ends with Mitt calling the freeloader penalty a tax.

Which makes Mitt a governor that raised taxes in Massachusetts.

Little wonder Mitt ran from Massachusetts, too afraid to run for a second term. A republican who raised taxes. In the mold of Reagan's 11 tax hikes, one guesses...

The biggest issue is whether Mitt Romney can take one principled position and stick with it. He hasn't yet.


Posted by Kerry Barnes, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

I'm not alone, here's the Wall Street Journal editors on losers from Massachusetts - Web Link
"If Mitt Romney loses his run for the White House, a turning point will have been his decision Monday to absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class. He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts's ObamaCare salvage operation—that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax—into a second political defeat. [...]

Perhaps Mr. Romney is slowly figuring this out, because in a July 4 interview he stated himself that the penalty now is a "tax" after all. But he offered no elaboration, and so the campaign looks confused in addition to being politically dumb."

Losing the Journal is one thing, then there's the far right weekly standard and Bill Kristol:

"Remember Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004)? It's possible to lose a winnable presidential election to a vulnerable incumbent in the White House (or in the case of 1988, a sitting vice president). So, speaking of losing candidates from Massachusetts: Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he's running?"

Dukakis, Kerry and Romney.

Kristol has quite the Hall of Fame of Massachusetts Moderates.

Wonder if Kristol agrees with my statement above: Conservatives need a third party Tea Party candidate in Tampa. Or it's a another Obama/McCain blowout - Obama by at least 75 EV's.