On Sunday morning, Mitt Romney appeared on Meet the Press (NBC) with David Gregory. There, he uttered words that set liberals’ flip-flop switch off:
“I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan. And, you know, even in Massachusetts where I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.”
Liberals pounced, thinking that Romney had now changed his mind on Obamacare – after all, here he was embracing elements of Obamacare! But as Yuval Levin points out, this has always been Romney’s position. As Levin writes:
This is what Romney has said since his first remarks on health care in this campaign, and what basically every conservative who has had much to say about health-care reform has said since well before Obamacare. For as long as Romney has had a campaign web site with a section on health care, for instance, it has listed among the elements of his proposal to replace Obamacare “Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage.”
So why the media’s rush to determine Romney’s line a “flip-flop”? The answer: the media’s meme over the weekend has been the Obama Inevitability Train. He’s winning in the polls (although he’s barely ahead in swing states, and has seen almost no bounce there); Romney is fading; Romney’s base doesn’t like him anyway.
But this is a case of the media making a mountain out of a non-existent molehill. Romney hasn’t changed his position on pre-existing conditions. His base shouldn’t be unenthused about him on this – they should acknowledge that he’s sticking to his guns, rather than being fooled by a partisan media.