WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama accused Republican rival Mitt Romney of kowtowing to conservatives when he changed his position on what to call the healthcare reform provision that requires people to buy insurance.
Obama said Romney had defended the "individual mandate" as a penalty when he backed it as part of healthcare reform in Massachusetts as governor, but changed his tune on the national healthcare law after criticism from fellow Republicans.
"The fact that a whole bunch of Republicans in Washington suddenly said this is a tax - for six years, he said it wasn't, and now he suddenly reversed himself," Obama told WLWT television in Cincinnati in an interview broadcast Friday.
"And so, the question becomes 'Are you doing that because of politics? Are you abandoning a principle that you fought for six years simply because you're getting pressure for two days?'" Obama said.
The interview, conducted on Thursday, was among six Obama gave to local television stations during a campaign bus tour in Ohio and Pennsylvania, battleground states that will be vital in deciding the result of the November 6 election.