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  Romney breaks with GOP, says mandate is a penalty, not a tax
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ContributorBrandonius Maximus 
Last EditedBrandonius Maximus  Jul 02, 2012 05:28pm
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AuthorJonathan Easley
News DateMonday, July 2, 2012 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionMitt Romney's presidential campaign broke with congressional Republicans on Monday by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty, not a tax.

The majority in the court's decision ruled it constitutional because it was a tax, and Republicans in Congress since that decision have hit the White House hard for raising taxes through the new law.

But a spokesman for Romney on Monday said the former Massachusetts governor agrees with Obama that the individual mandate is a penalty or a fine, rather than a tax.

In a roundabout exchange on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown" on Monday, Eric Fehrnstrom was asked if he agrees with Obama that the individual mandate is not a tax.

“That’s correct,” Fehrnstrom said. “But the president also needs to be held accountable for his contradictory statements. He has described it variously as a penalty and as a tax. He needs to reconcile those two very different statements."
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