Romney's tax confusion
Campaign muddles mandate message
- Duration 7:08
- Date Jul 7, 2012
Campaign muddles mandate message
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And welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm David -- in this week for Paul -- go.
Well is set or isn't it we know the Obama administration has been playing word games about the health care mandate right from the beginning.
But now the Romney campaign can't seem to make up its mind about whether it's really attacks.
Early this week Romney advisor Eric firs Strom said his boss have the same view was a White House and it's a penalty.
Not attacks but the candidate himself.
Later walked that back telling CBS news that quote the majority of the court said it is a tax and therefore it is a tax.
They have spoken there's no way around that end quote but.
Has the opportunity to -- as vast new middle class tax increase on President Obama been lost in the confusion.
And does -- reveal larger problems within the Romney campaign let's ask Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- -- Assistant editorial page editor James Freeman and columnist Mary and a stars yeah O'Grady.
Dan how -- them Romney campaign dealt with a.
Homeless well obviously not very well David I mean you just went through the sequence the Supreme Court of the United States says it is attacks.
And they have upheld the Obama health care law.
The Obama White House that says it's not a tax that's a penalty even though their -- has just been upheld every Republican in the country -- major Republican says the it just -- the tax on the middle class.
Along comes the Romney campaign and says -- we agree it's a penalty.
Now why are they saying -- they're saying this because.
Mitt Romney himself enacted a mandate in the Massachusetts Health Care law and they're afraid to have that -- -- tax.
That Massachusetts Health Care law is turning out to be the biggest gosh darn albatross any presidential candidate has ever had -- but Romney doesn't wanna admit that.
I think he has discovered -- wouldn't say that it's never too late and he has got to get that thing off his back.
And repudiated by James after having spent so much time defending what he did in Massachusetts how can -- now come out and say that the mandate.
Was a mistake with a obamacare and a mistaken -- -- I think what he's got to understand is what the American people care about.
More than his consistency of health care policy positions over the years is their life and their money in their health and this big government -- plan which has now been affirmed is going to take their money and guide their.
There health care decisions so.
I I think it's.
You know it's it's really not too late for mr.
Romney to say.
It's now clear how big a disaster this was and mr.
Obama is lawyer convince the Supreme Court its attacks and he also increasing authority for lots of other tax well.
The wall street journal editorial page itself became news this week with an editorial that you guys ran on Thursday entitled Romney's tax confusion he talk about this confusion over whether it's a penalty -- tax.
And you mentioned one person in particular Eric -- Strom.
Who works for the Romney campaign and he's the guy who first agreed with President Obama and force Romney to walk back on that say no.
President Obama's wrong it is -- tax.
Is this suggestion is is that a shake up is needed within the Romney administration is that true.
Well I would say that it's too huge missed opportunity that you kind of wonder who's behind this man how could they possibly.
See that ball coming over the plate and not -- it.
I mean this is a huge tax increase.
President Obama is positioning.
That Health Care Reform as something that is soft and cuddly and make you feel better and make everybody -- put everybody in a better position.
And this shows very clearly that it's going to be expensive.
And he could have built on that with the fact that it's 2700 pages no one knows how it's gonna affect doctors.
I mean the cost of it are very high and this was a great opportunity that I think they just completely -- But stand you know there was a big shake up famously in the in the Reagan campaign back in 1980 sort of at this point in their campaign.
Is shake up in the Romney campaign need to do to straighten.
-- the course David look we're not in -- these campaigns we don't know who saying -- but.
I have another example I think is almost as bad as the mandate tax issue and that is the fourth of July jet ski photograph.
Serious business like.
John Kerry water skiing we've we've got a governor Romney and his wife.
Yeah on -- jet ski -- just sort of supports the Obama idea that this is a guy rich guy who has always expensive toys now.
I think -- campaign manager worth his salt would have said the candidate you cannot get in the water on that -- with all those photographers over there.
But if the candidate himself -- I'm entitled to relax I'm going to do what I wanna do then the problem starts at the top with Mitt Romney's political instincts and then we're going to have a problem work.
Two months from now you -- one -- these Michael Dukakis photographed.
Couple all of -- and -- blows campaign out of the water well.
Is is a change at the top answered -- you mentioned in the editorial itself Erica -- strange at the top.
I republic could talk about -- obviously Romney's ahead of the campaign but his campaign manager.
-- right -- you worry about someone if they read Boston Globe every day long enough eventually they might start to believe it but but I think really the the problem here is is probably would mr.
Romney in that he needs to.
Sent a message endorse the message be willing to communicated and -- and -- deliberate with some enthusiasm.
-- to this point he's basically been saying.
Obama is doing a terrible job and look at my resume and he needs something more let's.
Let's bring it back to the beginning here finally -- Governor Christie.
New Jersey says it doesn't matter what name you used to call obamacare mandates whether it's a tax or penalty is still boils down in the same thing it's big government.
Telling you how to spend your money for something very personal in your life that's what you should focus on rather than words is he right.
Yeah I find that one of the problems with the Romney camp it's not just this particular issue but the fact that.
He's continually letting President Obama put him on the defensive he -- -- choose a message and the message should be basically that Obama is offering new.
A big entitlement state you wanna sign up for that give all the evidence of what life under the big entitled and stated -- And ex met you know I have a different -- explain what that is instead he's constantly getting sucked -- to these.
Debates about you know words or whether he's richer you know whether he he should be allowed to be -- rich president.
I mean he's defending himself he should be on it and.
He's in control of his campaign.
Well we are given to believe that Romney is a strong manager he was at -- That he's not a shrinking violet and in the campaign he is in controlled campaign.
And I'm simply suggesting David that I don't think Mitt Romney is he may be an excellent president because his strong manager but he's not a Major League politician.
And he needs someone around him who really does understand the new wants the last.