Whether or not they think he stands a chance
most pundits agree that Mitt Romney will be running for the 2012
Republican presidential ticket, which would mean running against President
Obama. If Romney is going to compete in the 2012 GOP primary, he'll have
to champion conservative rage against Obama's health care reform.
So it's curious that Romney is increasingly touting the near-universal
health care plan he implemented while governor of Massachusetts, while
at the same time harshly criticizing Obama's similar health
care plan. What on Earth is he up to?
- Romney: My Plan is Tougher, More Conservative Politico's Jonathan Martin says that it
all comes down to the phrase "free riders," which Romney uses to explain
his plan's inclusion of a mandate that, like in Obama's plan, forces
everyone to buy insurance. Romney argues the mandate eliminates the
"free riders" from the health care system, making it more economical.
"Expect to here that phrase quite a bit from Mitt Romney in the months
ahead," he writes. "And he's going to use it whenever he's asked about
similarities and differences between the two approaches. It may not be
easy to convince a conservative base that believes the mandate is an
encroachment on individual freedom, but Romney's case is that the
requirement is actually fiscally conservative."
- Mitt's Doomed Politics The New Republic's Jonathan Chait explains why Republicans will never bite. "Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act is socialist tyranny.
Romney's position is basically that socialist tyranny is okay as long as
it's imposed on a state-by-state basis. I don't see this argument
winning over the GOP base."
- Obama: My Plan
Just Like Romney's The Washington Post's Greg Sargent thinks that Romney
should be very concerned about Obama's recent declaration that his
health care plan is similar to Romney's from Massachusetts. "It
highlights just how difficult it will be for Romney to navigate this
vexing Romneycare-Obamacare conundrum in the GOP primaries. His
opponents will merely take footage like this and air it in endless Web
videos and even paid ads, forcing Romney to explain away the
similarities ad infinitum."
- How Obama Can Ruin Romney
The American Prospect's Adam Serwer chuckles that Obama
is "practically cutting campaign commercials for Romney's rivals. In
doing so, he's effectively undercutting his most likely opponent, who is
already known to even his prospective allies on the right as 'Multiple
Choice Mitt' because of his reputation for flip-flopping. All he has to
do is keep saying Romney's name."
- White House Wants More
Conservative Opponent The Washington Post's Ezra Klein suspects the
strategy is meant to draw a sharper comparison between Romney and the
more conservative primary opponents he will inevitable face in 2012.
They want the more conservative Republican to win, as they believe he or
she will be "totally unelectable" and help reveal "the Fox
Newsification of the Republican Party."
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