Eric Fehrnstrom: Romney's Taxes 'Not An Issue'

Senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said “taxes are not an issue”—Mitt Romney’s taxes, that is.

FILE - This June 1, 2012, file photo shows Romney Campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom at Republican presidential candidate's, Mitt Romney's, campaign headquarters in Boston, Mass. A former newspaper reporter, Fehrnstrom has served as Romney's spokesman since he was governor. He frequently travels with Romney and is considered an authority on Romney's record in Massachusetts.

Senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said “taxes are not an issue”—Mitt Romney’s taxes, that is.

Fehrnstrom, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said Romney has no obligation to release more federal income tax information in an interview that spanned many of the topics that have dominated the talk for the last week on the campaign trail.

On Medicare, Fehrnstrom said almost nothing about Romney running mate Paul Ryan’s plan to end the program’s current fee-for-service approach and replace it with a premium support, or voucher, system. Fehrnstrom said only that a Romney-Ryan administration would “restore” what he said was $716 billion in Medicare “cuts” contained in President Obama’s health care law.

Obama did reduce future growth in Medicare spending, but deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on the same CNN program that if Romney and Ryan shift those dollars, they would only add “subsidies” back to insurance companies, eliminate new preventative services provided under the health care law, and help “fraudsters” game the system.

Cutter also called the hubbub over Vice President Joe Biden’s “put y’all back in chains” remark earlier this week was a “distraction.” The larger point, Cutter said, was Obama and Biden oppose GOP efforts to repeal new regulations on Wall Street investment banks.

She said Biden’s comments were not worthy of an apology and accused Romney of also making incendiary comments, including routinely questioning Obama’s patriotism.

“We’re not going to be lectured by Mitt Romney,” she said.