Politics & Policy

Romney: Individual Mandate ‘Was a Conservative Concept’

 

In a testy debate exchange last month, Mitt Romney reminded Newt Gingrich that he had backed the individual mandate previously. Now, with Gingrich surging in the polls to frontrunner status, Romney is reminding the electorate about Gingrich’s record on health-care.

“Don’t forget, this health care plan was something we learned about from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank,” Romney said on Fox  News Channel’s Hannity in an interview to be aired tonight. “Even Newt Gingrich supported the idea of an individual mandate, insisting on personal responsibility.”

“Now, what we did isn’t perfect,” Romney added. “Some parts of it worked, some didn’t, some things I would change. But it’s not like it’s a liberal idea. It was a conservative concept.”

Romney, who used to be pro-abortion, explained how he altered his views while governor of Massachusetts.

“I changed my position on abortion back when I was governor,” he said. “The first time a piece of legislation reached my desk that dealt with the issue of life and abortion, I came down on the side of life. I wrote an op-ed and said I am firmly pro-life, I simply cannot support a piece of legislation which would have created new embryos for the purpose of testing them and destroying them.  So I came down on the side of life while I was governor some years ago.”

Noting that an Obama adviser had “said their strategy will be to kill Romney,” Romney predicted that the general election race will be ugly. “He can’t talk about his record and get reelected,” Romney said of Obama. “So what he’ll do is try and assassinate, on a character basis, his opponents and –or his opposition. I’m hoping that’s me, but I’m not looking forward to those attacks.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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