Axelrod: Mitt Gave 'Eloquent' Defense of ObamaCare

Following Thursday night’s Republican debate-turned-brawl in Florida, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren read a tweet from President Obama’s right-hand-man, David Axelrod:

Daniel Horowitz, in RedState, has gotten this issue exactly right.

About Rick Santorum’s intense confrontation of Mitt Romney on the subject of Romneycare in Massachusetts, Horowitz says:

He [Romney] has the nerve to feign outrage over Obamacare, even while he touts Romneycare – a carbon copy of Obamacare – as a virtuous success, supported by 90% of Massachusetts residents. Santorum did his homework, and called him out on the hypocrisy. Romney was never able to answer why the same market intervention and distortions – mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid – which form the bedrock of Obamacare , supposedly worked so well in Massachusetts. The reason he couldn’t answer the question is because Romneycare was a complete failure. It is the canary in the coal mine for Obamacare.

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Gov. Romney’s statement that most Massachusetts citizens are happy with Romneycare is ludicrous. In 2010, Massachusetts and Vermont delivered the highest average individual market health insurance premiums–over $400 per person per month, approximately twice the national average. Those in the state who cannot afford these outrageous costs are forced into Medicaid which, in turn, encourages people not to work so that they can meet the eligibility requirements for the federally funded plan.

Gov. Romney’s defense is still the same: states can do what they want, and he would have done the plan a bit differently, but he had a Democratic legislature. Did he think of vetoing the bill? How much stronger would he sound today if he could say, The Democrats wanted an individual mandate and I was against that, so I vetoed the bill?

Horowitz goes on to say:

In other words, Romneycare, at its core, is exactly like Obamacare…At the core, they are the same; mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid. That core is what Romney recently dubbed as fundamentally a conservative principle.

Many on the right, who, for some odd reason, believe Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who can beat Barack Obama, are deluding themselves. Those who believe the Romneycare issue is “old” are also deluding themselves. Playing “gotcha” with Newt Gingrich hardly demonstrates core strength when the nation is hanging in the balance.