GOP Debate: Pawlenty's "ObamneyCare" Attack Will Put Republicans in A Tight Spot

Tonight, Mitt Romney makes his first debate appearance of the 2012 GOP primary season, and yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Tim Pawlenty made it clear he plans to go on the attack over Romney's health care reform plan.

WALLACE: What do you make of Romney's argument that there's a fundamental difference between an individual mandate at the federal level, that everyone must get health insurance, and individual mandate at the state level? Do you see a difference in principle between -- on that point between Obamacare and Romneycare?

PAWLENTY: Well, you don't have to take my word for it. You can take President Obama's word for it. President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare. And so, we now have the same features -- essentially the same features. The president's own words is that he patterned in large measure Obamacare after what happened in Massachusetts. And what I don't understand is they both continue to defend it.

At least by the fairly low standards of 2012ers, Obamneycare is fairly clever line. I suspect Pawlenty will get at least some mileage out of it assuming he is able to deliver it in the debate. From a Democratic perspective, the thing I like most about the politics  of this is that with this issue on the table, Republicans need to do one of two things: they will either do the consistent thing and reject Romney, who is running best against President Obama in polls right now, or they will reveal their hypocrisy and fundamentally compromise the credibility of their attack on health care reform by supporting Romney despite his health care record. Neither scenario is good news for Republicans.

Wallace also asked Pawlenty about his previous characterization of the individual mandate as a worthy goal and something that Pawlenty was open to considering. Pawlenty said that he had been taken out of context and had rejected the mandate. I haven't looked back at the full context of his original speech yet, but that's the response you can expect Pawlenty to make if Romney accuses him of hypocrisy tonight.

Join us at 8PM ET as we live blog tonight's GOP presidential debate. 


Daily Kos / By Jed Lewison | Sourced from

Posted at June 13, 2011, 6:36am

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