Mitt Romney may very well be the front-runner for the Republican Party presidential nomination, but the big (as Donald Rumsfeld would put it) “known unknown” looming over his candidacy is to what extent the albatross of RomneyCare the health-care reform enacted in Massachusetts under Governor Romney in 2006 that is similar in many ways to the reviled ObamaCare will hinder him in the primaries. Romney will be endlessly assaulted about health-care reform by his primary opponents, and the tea-party-tinged ruling by a Florida federal judge this afternoon striking down ObamaCare should only make things worse for him by bringing the issue back into focus as the campaign season heats up. And since the White House would prefer to face a divisive tea-party candidate over the more broadly appealing Romney, they’ll do their part to remind everyone about the similarities between ObamaCare and RomneyCare as well. In fact, they’ve been doing it for nearly a year already, whenever the opportunity arises.
Just today, President Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, made a tongue-in-cheek reference to Romney’s “good ideas” in a USA Today interview:
He pointedly praised one of the leading contenders, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in a way that spotlighted Romney’s vulnerability within the GOP for signing a state health care law that parallels the new federal law in some ways.
There was also Obama’s appearance on 60 Minutes in November:
And his sit-down with Matt Lauer on the Today show last March:
Also last March, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs claimed in a press briefing that only one difference separated RomneyCare from ObamaCare:
You can tell this line of attack is really going to please them to no end.