CNN's Candy Crowley Doesn't Think It Matters If ObamaCare Mandate Is a Tax or a Penalty

One of the key parts of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding the President's healthcare bill was that the fine for not complying with the individual mandate must be considered a tax in order for it to be constitutional.

On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, host Candy Crowley didn't think this was a very important distinction (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):


In the middle of a discussion about the ruling, Crowley said, "Another tactic that Republicans used coming out of the Supreme Court decision, this is Minority Leader, Republican leader Mitch McConnell on the floor right after the vote."

A video clip was aired of McConnell discussing the fact that the Court ruled the penalty under the individual mandate was a tax, and that this went completely against what the President promised when it was proposed as well as how it was sold to the Congress and the American people.

“This was one of the Democrats’ top selling points because they knew it never would have passed if they said it was a tax…The bill was sold to the American people on a deception,” McConnell told Senators.

After the clip, Crowley asked guest CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian, “Is there any resonance to this? I just, fine, penalty. I love Nancy Pelosi’s reaction, ‘Call it an aardvark, it’s constitutional.’ You know, essentially what she said. Is there resonance here?”

“I think we’ll have to wait and see,” Lothian answered. “The President clearly said, I mean, there was an interview I think was it ABC News where he said that it was not a tax, but immediately after the Court ruled, Republicans jumped all over this, and I think they’re going to continue pushing it.”

Lothian was correctly referring to a September 2009 interview Obama gave to George Stephanopoulos when he "absolutely" rejected the penalty being a tax.

Crowley didn't seem to care.

“It fits into the storyline that Republicans want to push which is he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class,” Crowley said. “But it just seems like we’re dancing on the head of a pin here. It’s a tax, it’s a penalty, it’s a fine.”

Really? So how a piece of legislation was sold to Congress and the American people is "dancing on the head of a pin?"

Even if the bill wouldn't have passed if it had been properly conveyed by the President?

Do you think Crowley would have the same opinion if a Republican president got an unpopular bill enacted under false pretenses?

Quite the contrary, she and virtually all of her colleagues would be screaming from the rooftops about the deception.

But when a Democratic president does it, not so much.

Witness her other guest USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page who completely agreed with Crowley saying, “It’s not what people hate about the healthcare law. They hate that it’s such big government, and they hate that it’s a, it’s a mandate, it’s the federal government telling them what they have to do. So it seems to me that’s not the big issue and the reason that people don’t like the healthcare law.”

No, a president lying to the American people to get a bill passed isn't "a big issue" even if it breaks his campaign promise of not raising taxes on folks earning less than $250,000.

You see, everything's acceptable no matter how deceitful as long as that president is a Democrat.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.