Mitt Romney is coming under renewed attack from prominent conservatives for previously advocating for a federal individual mandate and supporting government efforts to lower health care spending. While the former Massachusetts governor has publicly insisted that health reform should be left to the purview of the states, a recently unearthed USA Today editorial from 2009 and a long stream of past comments urging Obama to use elements of Romneycare as a template for the Affordable Care Act have sparked the ire of Republican and conservative leaders — just as the GOP presidential candidate heads into the all-important Super Tuesday contest tomorrow.
This morning, during appearances on Morning Joe and Fox & Friends, Grover Norquist and Rick Santorum both slammed Romney for saying that his Massachusetts health care law should be a model for national reform, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) — who endorsed Romney’s candidacy yesterday — conceded that the former governor has flip flopped on the issue. This is the Cantor exchange from this morning:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (Co-host, Morning Joe): It’s clear that he has flipped on the issue and it’s hard for some to understand where he stands.
CANTOR: Well, listen if the process that he has gone through, he has arrived at the conclusion that what he felt was appropriate in Massachusetts is not now appropriate for federal level, I take him at his word on that.
Watch a compilation of the comments:
Norquist was far more direct in his criticism, saying that while Romney was wrong to argue that Obama should copy his plan, he is smart enough to change his position on the issue. “He shouldn’t have, the good news is that he shifted on that and he’s running against a guy who has actually passed it into law,” he said. For a complete timeline of Romney’s changing positions on the government’s role in health care, click here.
Santorum went on to slam Romney for his past comments during a town halls in Miamisburg, Ohio this morning: