Howard Fineman On 'Hardball': 'Substance And Music' To Romney's Tax Deal Opposition

12/14/2010 06:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Howard Fineman appeared on "Hardball" Tuesday evening to discuss the White House compromise on tax cuts, including Mitt Romney's recent opposition to the deal.

"Help me, Howard, I've never needed you more," Chris Matthews said, perplexed as to why such a staunch Republican would be against extending tax cuts for the wealthy.

Fineman replied that there was both "substance and music" to Romney's position. "The substance is...he wants these tax cuts to be permanent, not just two years, but permanent. That way they have a true supply side effect."

"But what he's really trying to do is show he understands the music of the tea party," Fineman continued. "What a lot of Republican conservatives don't like, and what Mitt Romney is playing to, is the fact that in conservative circles this is now known as the 'Obama Compromise,' and that in and of itself is enough to doom it."