Just two days after Mitt Romney's top spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the former governor agrees with President Obama that the health insurance mandate does not represent a tax, the candidate reversed that positioning.
In an interview with CBS Wednesday from New Hampshire where Romney and his family are vacationing, the Republican candidate for president said due to the Supreme Court's majority decision, he too believes it's a tax.
"The Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is that Obamacare is a tax," Romney said. "So it’s a tax."
This allows Romney to get back in line with what other Republicans are saying about the mandate. Meanwhile spokesman Fehrnstrom, not to mention the RNC's spokesman Sean Spicer, who also defended the "no, it's not a tax" angle on msnbc Monday are left to twist in the wind.
But...the health insurance mandate Romney put in place as governor of Massachusetts is a penalty because of states' rights, plus at the time it was "described that way by the legislature and by me, and so it stays as it was," Romney reasoned.
So, if the guy who designed the national health care law (President Obama) and the legislature that passed it (Congress) didn't believe the mandate was a tax, then by Romney's logic it shouldn't be described as such either, right?
The law is passed and now upheld by the Supreme Court, so these semantics really only matter to the politicians using the words to rile up voters and box their competitor into a corner. Still, it shows one more instance of the Romney campaign playing defense on an issue where he is weak.