Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter stressed that the debate over whether the individual mandate is a penalty or a tax is really about the fact that Mitt Romney switched positions in an interview on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Thursday.
Cutter said that the mandate is a "penalty that's administered through the tax code," but also said that the distinction doesn't really matter. "Look at what has happened over the past five days," Cutter said. "His spokesperson calls it a penalty. A couple days later after the right wing of his party rises up and criticizes him, he is suddenly calling it a tax. That's what this debate is all about, whether Mitt Romney can take a principled position and stick with it. That's the question."
The Obama campaign doesn't "particularly care" if Romney calls it a penalty or a tax, Cutter said. "We just hope he chooses one and sticks to it."