This morning on MSNBC, Romney adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom got taken off message by Chuck Todd. In doing so he just reawakened fears that conservatives have had about Romney’s inability to really fight against Barack Obama this year. In other words, look out, it’s McCain 2008 all over again. In fact, things are so bad that conservatives are demanding that Romney either call it a tax and fight it or get out of the way and let someone else do it.
This really should come as no surprise to anyone. Obamacare was built on what Romney did in Massachusetts and before anyone starts going off on me, yes, Romney was all for it and still claims to be “very proud of what he accomplished” in regards to Romneycare in Massachusetts. Romney will get pummled on this issue throughout the campaign and what is he going to say? Nothing. Sure, people enjoy the rhetoric about him repealing Obamacare, but then no one demands of him what he is going to replace it with. After all, he uses that phrase too.
The editor of Breitbart.com, Joel Pollak, picks up the action today,
Fehrnstrom’s point–in defense of Romneycare–was that the Supreme Court was wrong to uphold Obamacare under the taxing power. The individual mandate was never intended to be a tax, Congress never called it a tax, and it wasn’t a tax in Massachusetts, either. Fine–but now that Obama’s lawyers went to court and called it a tax, and Chief Justice John Roberts called it a tax (and spare us the non-distinction between “tax” and the “taxing power”) Obamacare is, undeniably, a massive tax on the middle class. Obama lied. It’s that simple.
The GOP primary is over, and this is not a mistake that Fehrnstrom can merely shake away. It’s going to be used–and already is being used–by the Obama campaign to save itself from the tax argument, and to label Romney as a liar (when that label belongs squarely on Obama, who campaigned against Hillary Clinton’s individual mandate in 2008). Perhaps this is why Rupert Murdoch has been calling openly for Romney to “drop…old friends from [his] team and hire…some real pros,” as he did on Twitter yesterday.
Pollak ends his article with, “This ain’t Etch-A-Sketch, Mitt. Go hard or go home.” Seems to me, conservatives should have thought about this before voting for him in the primaries.
On the flip side of things, while presumptive nominee Romney is considering whether to flip or to flop on the individual mandate, his competitor Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to remain consistent and still has some fight left in him over the individual mandate.
In regards to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday, Paul said,
“I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.”
“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’” Paul declared. “The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t,” said the Texas Republican. “The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.”
Paul told his supporters, “Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care. Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.”
Like him or not, Ron Paul doesn’t change his message to fit his audience. He stays on point and isn’t intimidated by what people think of him. He is one that overwhelmingly stands for the Constitution, which means he stands for the American people.