Obama hits the road, Romney breaks with campaign spokesman on Obamacare fees
By GEOFF HOLTZMAN
Talk Radio News Service
WASHINGTON - President Obama heads to Ohio today, where he’ll begin his two-day bus tour.
The theme of the tour, which will take the president through Ohio and Pennsylvania, is called “Betting on America.” He’ll tell supporters in a trio of Ohio towns today that his jobs plan, the American Jobs Act, would help put those areas back to work.
The unemployment rate in the Buckeye State was 7.5 percent in May. The June jobs report will be released tomorrow as Obama crosses into the Keystone State.
Meanwhile, GOP nominee Mitt Romney is still on vacation with his family in New Hampshire. The candidate, however, managed to grab headlines on Wednesday by disagreeing with his own campaign spokesman, who argued that the individual mandate within Obama’s healthcare law is a penalty, and not a tax as the Supreme Court ruled.
Since last week’s decision, Romney’s campaign has awkwardly tiptoed around the tax issue due to the fact that the healthcare law Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts featured a nearly-identical mandate. Romney, who has run mainly on his private sector record and conservative fiscal approach, does not want to be perceived as a politician who once raised taxes. For him to suggest, as he did yesterday, that the mandate is, in fact, a tax on those who choose to not purchase health insurance, allows Democrats to accuse him of hiking taxes while in office.
Conversely, the White House has stated since the ruling that the mandate is merely a penalty. Like his Republican opponent, Obama, who has yet to field questions about the court’s decision, also does not want to be painted as a tax hiker. The fact that his campaign is eager to stamp the tax label on Romney makes this subject extremely challenging and interesting and one that could end up shaping how the rest of the campaign plays out.
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