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Opinion: Why Romney Has Terribly Bungled His Response to Obamacare

Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 06:34 PM

Mitt Romney Republican presidential candidate, and former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. (Getty)

We are now in summer silly season for politics. In the week following the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld President Obama's health care plan, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign simultaneously called a tax, and not a tax.

After aide Eric Fehrnstrom said the requirement that people have insurance was not a tax, Mitt Romney said that was, a move designed to help in "aligning himself with the conservative voices in his party.” And in case anyone missed the correction, Romney arranged a quick last-minute interview on the 4th of July with CBS News in which he repeated several times that Obamacare is a tax.

The six people who were watching TV instead of grilling out may have noticed this kerfluffel. Most of America had better things to do including burning their fingers with sparklers.

Why do we political junkies care? Because this incident revealed two things of importance going forward to the fall when people will again be thinking about who should be the next president.

First, this contretemps proves beyond any doubt that Romney is NOT a hard core conservative Republican. “How so?” you ask. Romney’s change of mind on what Obamacare is clearly was a concession to the most conservative wing of the GOP, which had launched an immediate assault on Obama for “passing the biggest middle class tax increase in U.S. history” with the passage of the healthcare act. Remember the Supreme Court upheld the law saying to was a tax and therefore constitutionally in the legitimate jurisdiction of Congress.

Second, this incident pulled an old scab off the Romney campaign, an injury they have been trying to avoid like the plague, namely Romneycare in Massachusetts. If Obamacare could be labeled “a penalty” (for not buying health insurance), then Romney would be in much better shape.

If the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act was acknowledged to be a tax, then Romney suddenly becomes enormously vulnerable for … wait for it … passing the biggest single middle class tax increase – Romneycare – in the history of Massachusetts!

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Comments [2]

Steve from missouri

Is there really any question as to what needs to be done this election year? If there is then this country is in worse shape than I thought. There is no way Obama should even come close to winning the election this November. He campaigned on cutting the deficit and improving the economy. He claimed a new era of government. Well lets take a look here. The deficit is out of control, the economy has done nothing but get worse but it does seem like a new era of government as our President likes to go around Congress when ever he wants to. He refuses to fix the immigration problem unless you mean giving 1.2 million ILLEGALS amnesty through an Executive Order! After 4 years of Bush, I was doing very well. After 4 years of Obama, I am just trying to keep my home. As Obama likes to blame George W. Bush for everything including the weather, I can say that I did better under Bush then under the man that was supposed to fix everything. I have never seen a President that wines and cries about what the other guy did. I do recall that Obama was a Senator when he ran for the job he now has. He knew what he was getting into as he was part of the Senate and caused part of the problem. He wanted the job, knew where the country was and wants to continue to blame Bush. What a baby.
Now Obama-care. Obama wants to say his plan is the same as Romney's health plan in Massachusetts. Well, lets clear one thing up. One MAJOR difference is that if you live in Massachusetts and don't like the healthcare required there, you can pick any one of 49 other states to move to so you don't have to pay for the STATE demanded insurance. Where does that leave us with a National Healthcare Mandate. If you don't want it do you then leave for Canada or Mexico? See the difference? Romneycare is for ONE state, not ALL OF THEM. How many people live in Massachusetts compared to other states. What is the percentage of poverty in Massachusetts? Bet is less than most states. Just because it may work for a wealth state like Massachusetts, doesn't mean it will work for the poorer states in this Republic we live in.
Everyone wants to see the Republican party as the party for the rich? Well, gee I am not rich enough to be in the Democrat party. Movie starts like George Clooney are Democrats and make millions of dollars. He has fund raisers at his house for Obama. He has millions of dollars but is a Democrat? Guess everyone has it wrong. Your a Democrat if you have so much money that you can worry about the poorer people in the country and feel bad for doing so well. Well, I don't have enough money to worry about everybody else and I want to do better and make money like the rich George Clooney. Guess that make me a Republican right?
One clear decision this November. If American screw this up and put the child that would be king back in office, this country gets what it deserves.

Jul. 06 2012 07:02 PM
listener

As important as an aide to Romney is to some columnists, the Solicitor General of the United States is even more important and he argued on the first day before the Supreme Court that Obamacare was a TAX.

Romneycare was the epitome of political compromise, responsibility and constitutionality that some columnists are supposedly so in favor of and all of which is antithetical to the hot mess called Obamacare.

Nice try.

Jul. 05 2012 08:45 PM

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