Posted: 7/6/2012 1:06:36 PM EDT
Thursday, on CNN’s morning show “Starting Point,” Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt first said President Barack Obama thought the individual mandate was a “penalty” even though the Supreme Court said it was a tax. When asked if Obama disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, LaBolt then said, “that’s right. He’s said that it’s a penalty.”
Then, LaBolt lied and said the Obama administration never even argued the individual mandate could be a tax during oral arguments even though Obama’s Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, argued that, “this Court has got an obligation to construe it as an exercise of the tax power, if it can be upheld on that basis."
Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced on LaBolt’s comments in which he said Obama thought Obamacare was unconstitutional.
“In a curious development, President Obama apparently disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling upholding his health care law,” Romney Campaign Spokesperson Amanda Henneberg immediately said in an e-mail statement. “It’s too bad he doesn’t also see that Obamacare is bad policy and bad law.”
At a campaign event in Ohio on Thursday, Obama said Obamacare was “here to stay.”
Anyone who cares about the constitution would, at this point, would wonder if Obama thinks Obamacare is unconstitutional but should be implemented anyway.
The mainstream media, which would have taken a Republican president to task for the same thing, appeared disinterested.
Compare how the mainstream media ignored LaBolt’s comments to how they saturated their coverage around Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom’s comments on Monday. Fehrnstrom said that Romney essentially thought the individual mandate was a penalty and not a tax on MSNBC.
The mainstream media pounced on this statement, flooding the zone with coverage and stories, because Fehrnstrom’s comments partly helped shield President Obama from having to defend Obamacare as a tax, which is the only reason the law was held to be within the bounds of the Constitution.
So when Obama’s campaign spokesman said something similarly –– if not more –– damaging to the Obama campaign, the mainstream media, if they were truly honest referees, would have covered it as intensely as they covered Fehrnstrom’s comments.
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