In an interview with CBS News on Wednesday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act makes clear that the law's individual mandate "is a tax."
"The majority of the court said it's a tax, and therefore, it is a tax. They have spoken, there's no way around that," Romney told CBS's Chief Political Correspondent Jan Crawford.
The characterization contradicts the message from Romney's chief strategist Eric Fehrnstrom on Monday, in which he said the campaign believed the mandate was a penalty, not a tax.
Update, 3:44PM: In further excerpts of the interview Romney argued that while he agreed with the Supreme Court that the federal mandate was a tax, his state mandate in Masschusetts was not.