Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod told the Washington Post that that in calling the individual mandate a tax, Republicans are "sliming" their own nominee. Axelrod was responding to Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom's comments Monday in which he agreed with Democrats -- and disagreed with many in his own party -- that the individual mandate is neither a tax in "Obamacare" nor in Romney's Massachusetts health care overhaul.
As we’ve said from the beginning, Gov. Romney’s problem is that his approach on health care was very much the model for the Affordable Care Act. His case for the mandate was as cogent as any. His explanation then of the penalty on “free riders,” who game the system and let taxpayers and the insured pick up their freight, was right on target.
So now, as the Republican Party and their SuperPacs try to depict this narrow, freeloader penalty, that would touch less than 1 percent of Americans, as a broad tax on the middle class, they’re sliming their own nominee, as well.