During last night’s Florida GOP primary debate, former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) blasted former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) for signing RomneyCare’s individual mandate into law in 2006. Apparently Sen. Santorum forgot that he supported individual mandates when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 1994:
Santorum and Watkins both called for a “comprehensive restructuring” of health care. But they differed sharply on what elements should comprise a basic benefits package.
Watkins would include mental health services, long-term care, prescription drug coverage, dental services and preventive care such as immunizations. Santorum would not. Both reject abortion services.
Santorum and Watkins both oppose having businesses provide health care for their employees. Instead, they would require individuals to purchase insurance. Both oppose higher taxes on alcohol or tobacco to help pay for care.
Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits. Both oppose abortion services and support limits on malpractice awards. Santorum says non-economic damages should not exceed $250,000, adjusted annually for inflation, and lawyers’ contingency fees should be capped at 25 percent.
As has been noted here, almost exhaustively, Mitt Romney has a problem with conservatives. They don’t trust him. Why they distrust him more than Newt Gingrich, I don’t know. But they don’t, and with reason. And if I were running Romney’s campaign, I wouldn’t want people like Norm Coleman saying things like this when I’m trying to win over conservatives:
Mitt Romney adviser Norm Coleman, a former senator from Minnesota, predicted the GOP won’t repeal the Democrats’ healthcare reform law even if a Republican candidate defeats President Obama this November.
“You will not repeal the act in its entirety, but you will see major changes, particularly if there is a Republican president,” Coleman told BioCentury This Week television in an interview that aired on Sunday. “You can’t whole-cloth throw it out. But you can substantially change what’s been done.”
Coleman’s remarks are remarkable because every Republican candidate — including Romney — has vowed to make repealing the law a priority. Coleman is also the chairman of the American Action Network, which has urged the courts to strike down the law’s individual mandate and its Medicaid expansion.
Romney’s campaign quickly distanced itself from Coleman’s comments.
“With all due respect to Sen. Coleman, he’s wrong,” campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said via e-mail. “Gov. Romney can and will repeal Obamacare and is committed to doing so.”
We’ve noted Newt Gingrich’s anti-conservative points on multiple occasions, mostly recently my post yesterday on his support of an individual mandate for health insurance coverage. This isn’t the only stain on his record, it’s merely one of them. We could easily point to his support of Medicare expansion or TARP as further evidence. We could also point to Stephen Slivinski’s article here from last month explaining how Gingrich betrayed the revolution that brought Republicans to power.
We all know that Mitt Romney’s heath insurance reform plan, the centerpiece of which was the individual mandate, became the blueprint for ObamaCare. This source of much skepticism from conservatives and the Tea Party movement, and rightfully so.
For all of his faults, Romney isn’t the only Republican running to push for punitive taxes for those who haven’t purchased health insurance coverage.In fact, when Romney introduced the plan in 2005, the Boston Herald noted that Romney was “allying himself with influential conservatives such as former US House speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.”
The implication here is that Romney was coming to an idea that Gingrich was already backing (note the archived footage from 1993 in the video below). And it’s apparently one that Gingrich still holds. During his ill-fated interview with David Gregory on Meet the Press last May, Gingrich made it clear that he’s “said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable”:
We’ve all heard Mitt Romney say time and time again, as a way to ease concerns from conservatives over his Massachusetts health care plan — the blueprint for ObamaCare, that he will work to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
But Romney still isn’t doing himself any favors after again defending his plan from criticism, claiming that the individual mandate is a “conservative principle,” during an appearance yesterday on Fox News:
Given that the individual mandate is the chief concern of conservatives, libertarians, and tea partyers alike, that statement is sure to cast even more doubt on Romney’s sincerity on this issue. It’s also likely to turn off voters in a general election that see this in one of Obama’s campaign ad, where he’ll no doubt be touting his plan as an idea hatched by a popular conservative think tank.
The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the challenge over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as ObamaCare:
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on President Obama’s healthcare law over a three-day span in late March.
The schedule further confirms the universal expectation that the court will issue a ruling on the healthcare law next June, at the height of the 2012 campaign.
The Supreme Court will begin on March 26 with one hour of arguments on whether it can reach a decision on the reform law before 2014. There is a possibility that a separate federal law will prevent the courts from ruling until the law’s individual mandate has taken effect.
On March 27, the justices will hear two hours of arguments on the core question of whether the mandate is unconstitutional.
And on March 28, the court will hear arguments on two issues: how much, if any, of the law’s other provisions can be upheld if the mandate is unconstitutional, and whether the health law’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional.
The individual mandate is the main issue with the law, though not the only one. Not ruling on the law until it goes into effect defeats the purpose. But as I’ve written a few times in the last couple years, the fate of this law is going to ultimately depend on what side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy wakes up the morning he casts his vote. In other words, don’t get your hopes up.
In a new web ad, Ron Paul’s take another hard shot at Newt Gingrich for “selling access” to Washington, nothing several dozen ethics complaints filed against him during his time in Congress and time as a lobbyist and consultant for Freddie Mac. The ad also notes that Gingrich personal wealth grew substantially by the time he left Congress. And Paul once again points out that Gingrich backed an individual mandate for health insurance.
The video was released on the same day a new poll out of Iowa shows Gingrich is losing ground as both Mitt Romney and Paul are within five points:
During a recent sit down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Newt Gingrich, who is leading the polls in the race for the GOP nomination, said that Mitt Romney is on his list of potential running mates (video at the link):
Newt Gingrich has at least one name on his list of potential running mates: GOP rival Mitt Romney. “I think Mitt Romney is a very admirable person, and I’m not going to pick a fight with Mitt Romney,” Gingrich said in an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
When asked if he would ever ask Romney to be his vice presidential nominee, Gingrich didn’t mince words.
“I think the consensus is that he’d certainly be on the list, whether he’d want to or not,” Gingrich said. “He’s a very competent person. This is a very serious man. I would certainly support him if he became the Republican nominee.”
Um, no thanks. Both Gingrich, who is the source of skepticism amongst conservatives, and Romney have supported an individual mandate for health insurances, bailouts, and other big government programs. Gingrich lobbied for GSEs like Freddie Mac, which helped inflate the housing bubble. Romney changes his beliefs almost daily. Neither of them are serious about reducing the size of the federal government.
A Gingrich/Romney ticket would essentially be asking voters to sign off on everything wrong with the GOP. That would be an electoral disaster.
It’s not the excellent video that one of his supporters recently put together, but Ron Paul’s campaign has put together a great video (you can watch it below) detailing the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich, who is the latest anti-Romney to emerge in the race.
Here’s part of the e-mail blast from Paul’s camp:
This candidate was for the individual mandate that served as the model for “ObamaCare.” He was originally for the TARP bank bailouts before he was against them. He joined with Nancy Pelosi to promote the anti-business “global warming” agenda.
He slammed Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “extreme,” calling it “right wing social engineering.”
You might think I am talking about Mitt Romney. Heck, you might think I’m talking about a liberal Democrat. But I’m not.
That candidate I’m talking about is Newt Gingrich. He is what I like to call a “counterfeit conservative.”
And I have barely even scratched the surface!
The video also makes not of Gingrich’s lobbying and ties to the corportist health insurance industry. All of this should make conservatives skeptical of Gingrich, but sadly they are buying what he is selling:
Via Michael Brendan Dougherty comes this video put together by a Ron Paul supporter in vain of the recent DNC ad knocking Mitt Romney for his frequent position changes. Obviously, Romney is a target, but Newt Gingrich, who as I noted yesterday has many of the same consistency issues as his rival, is also raked over the coals.
Paul’s campaign and his supporters ought to put this everywhere they can: