On a conference call with media today, the Mitt Romney campaign rolled out a new attack on President Barack Obama and his signature health insurance law. The Supreme Court ruled last week that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate’s enforcement mechanism is a tax, and as such is constitutional. President Obama and his campaign have insisted that the mandate is not a tax, though senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett admitted last week that they will take the Supreme Court win “any way they can get it,” whether it’s ruled a tax or not.
The Romney campaign brought out Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota on today’s conference call, calling in from the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, to argue the case that America should not “double down on Obama” and his “failed policies.” Gov. Jindal assailed the president for a host of broken campaign promises, including the promise not to impose any new taxes on Americans making less than $250,000 per year, while ObamaCare has been ruled a tax and would be imposed on anyone who elects not to purchase health insurance. Gov. Pawlenty slammed the Obama administration for selling ObamaCare as reform and not a tax, saying that Obama is committing a “contortion worthy of top billing as a Waffle House special” for continuing to argue that the mandate is not a tax.
That line conforms with the Romney campaign’s new accusation, that in arguing that ObamaCare’s mandate is not a tax, President Obama is admitting that ObamaCare is unconstitutional because he continues to argue against the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that it is a tax. The Romney campaign rolled out a new press release a few minutes prior to the conference call which also makes the case that Obama is trying to have his law both ways, arguing that it is constitutional while arguing against the rationale that the court used to rule it constitutional.
Gov. Jindal reiterated that his state of Louisiana will not implement the insurance exchanges spelled out in ObamaCare, and will not expand Medicaid as the law requires. Gov. Pawlenty said that the Supreme Court’s ruling opens the way for the government, which is currently still heavily invested in General Motors, to mandate that Americans purchase Chevy Volts both to help GM and to move Americans more toward hybrid and electric cars. Pawlenty also hailed Florida Gov. Rick Scott for deciding that his state will not implement ObamaCare’s requirements on the states. At least 15 states are moving toward not implementing the president’s health care law in part or in whole.
The governors also criticized President Obama for breaking promises on US manufacturing and on the deficit. Obama promised as a candidate to cut the deficit in half, but as president he has tripled it.
The governors are part of the Romney campaign’s “Middle Class Promise Gap” bus tour, which kicks off today.