And thus the club that Romney could have used to beat Obama is laid down:
Via Hot Air.
Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom did a decent job for most of that, but “most” doesn’t cut it. Journalists don’t care about Obama’s hypocrisy; they care about taking away the club. Yeah, sure, he said one thing, he sent his lawyers to court to say the opposite, now he goes back to the original, blah, blah, blah. So Romney agrees with Obama it’s a penalty, huh?!
And Fehrnstrom should have seen that coming.
Watch how it gets portrayed in a short clip, even on Fox News:
So how does one avoid this trap? Look to Romney advisor Andrea Saul:
“The federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty. Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama’s position?”
Never, ever say the word “penalty” without the word unconstitutional. It is an unconstitutional penalty. And always toss in the idea that the only way it could be constitutional is if it were a tax.
Romney had better play this better in the debates than his advisor did. Trouble is, no matter how well he plays it, his advisors have now given Obama a quote to use against him.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
UPDATE: I don’t believe the mandate is a tax. But the Supreme Court has said it’s a tax. If the President wants to pretend this is constitutional, he is going to have to deal with the fact that it’s only considered constitutional if it’s a tax.