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Tuesday, 03 July 2012 12:21

Etch-A-Sketch Romney:Obamacare is a tax, no a penalty

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romney-etch-a-sketch1The misguided and ill-equipped Romney campaign keeps making critical mistakes. Mere days after the presumptive GOP nominee refused to comment on the Fast and Furious investigation, criticize the President’s executive order of de-facto amnesty for 1.4 million illegal aliens or comment on the Supreme Court decision striking down the Arizona immigration law, the Romney campaign has once again shown its weakness.


In an interview on MSNBC, Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom declared the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) to be a penalty and not a tax. This idiotic declaration was made after Republican leaders had spent the past four days denouncing the legislation as a tax by using the convoluted reasoning of Chief Justice John Roberts.  The Supreme Court called it a tax, so it is a tax, whether the Romney campaign agrees with the horrible judicial ruling or not.

Fehrnstrom undercut the best line of attack Republicans have against the massive takeover of the healthcare industry. Why did he make this foolish mistake? It seems the Romney campaign is worried that Democrats will call his Massachusetts healthcare plan a tax as well. Of course it was a tax and the plan was also a mini version of Obamacare. It was a state government takeover of a healthcare system. From all reports, it has failed miserably as Obamacare will do on a national basis.

What makes Obamacare worse than Romney’s plan is that it much larger, and was jammed through Congress without the support of the American people or the medical industry. Thanks to the Supreme Court, it is obvious that the legislation really involves the largest middle class tax increase in our nation’s history.

By portraying the legislation as a tax, Republicans can convince Americans to oppose both the legislation and its chief proponent, President Barack Obama.

In a lousy economy, almost everyone opposes a tax increase. Clearly this economy qualifies as lousy and now the Obamacare legislation has been called a tax by the Supreme Court.

It is a tailor made issue for the Romney campaign, so they should run with it, right? I guess Mitt, the Massachusetts Moderate, did not get the message. Through his spokesman, Fehrnstrom, it is clear Romney wants to tone down the rhetoric once again.

This is exactly the wrong approach to beat Obama. It is the same flawed strategy used by John McCain four years ago and we all know what happened to him.

Romney needs to employ the same brass knuckled strategy he used against his GOP opponents in the primary. He showed no mercy toward Next Gingrich and Rick Santorum, so why is he going soft on President Obama?

Unfortunately, Romney is listening to Fehrnstrom and other Massachusetts liberals who are advising him. As Rupert Murdoch stated the other day on his Twitter account, Romney needs to “drop…old friends from team and hire…some real pros.” He predicted that Romney’s chances were “doubtful” without an overhaul of advisers.

As Joel Pollak noted on, “conservatives…exhort: Mitt, start fighting, or give up and let someone else do it….No one wants to watch another conservative capitulate to Obama.”

The problem for Republicans is that the last two nominees have not been true conservatives. They are both candidates who care more about the Beltway pundits than following common sense conservative principles.

The liberal media and the moderate Republican political establishment do not want to see the Republican nominee vigorously attack Obama on hot button issues.  McCain listened to these “sensible” voices who told him to play fair with Obama. Romney should realize that this strategy is completely flawed.

The Tea Party members and the conservative base of the Republican Party are waiting for Romney to follow the advice of Ronald Reagan and run a campaign based on “no pale pastels, but bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear” where he stands on the issues.

If Romney fails to follow the Reagan formula, he will be another moderate GOP nominee with the title, not President, but loser.

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at E-mail him at [email protected].




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Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on For more information, email him at [email protected]

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