Fehrnstromâ€™s comments caused consternation among manyRepublicans, who believed that the Supreme Court had handed Romney a gift when it used the tax argument to justify upholding the healthcare plan. And in an interview with CBS News on Wednesday, Romney backed off from his advisorâ€™s remarks.
Asked about the Supreme Court ruling, Romney said that “while I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it was a tax and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken.â€
He went on: “There’s no way around that. You can try and say you wish they’d decided it a different way, but they didn’t. They concluded it was a tax, that’s what it is, and the American people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans.”
The remarks, coming during Romney’s vacation at his New Hampshire vacation home, were the second time in recent months that the candidate has been forced to do damage control after controversial remarks by Fehrnstrom.
In March, as Romney closed in on the Republican nomination, Fehrnstrom suggested that the campaign would move more toward the political center in the general election. In words that brought undisguised glee to the Obama campaign, he said: â€œWell, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes.Â Itâ€™s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.â€