In an interview on CNN Thursday morning, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said that President Obama disagrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the individual mandate in Obamacare is a tax.
Anchor Soledad O’Brien asked LaBolt: “His spokesman…said it’s a penalty. The Supreme Court has said it’s a tax. What does he believe?”
“That it’s a penalty,” LaBolt answered. “You saw our arguments before the Supreme Court…”
“So then he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision that says it’s now a tax?” O’Brien asked.
“That’s right,” said LaBolt. “He said that it’s a penalty. You saw our arguments before the Court.”
At that point, O’Brien pointed out that the Obama administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, argued before the Court that if the justices chose not to find the mandate constitutional under the Commerce Clause, they could still uphold it because it is a tax, and Congress has broad power to levy taxes.
LaBolt then denied that the administration had ever made such an argument.