On the campaign trail in Cincinnati, President Obama criticized Mitt Romney for flip-flopping his position on the indivudal mandate, apparently because of displeasure among the right wing Washington elites. Obama stated that as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney supported an individual mandate, then suddenly reversed his position because of right wing pressure:
“And the fact that a whole bunch of Republicans in Washington suddenly said, this is a tax — for six years he said it wasn’t, and now he has suddenly reversed himself. So the question becomes, are you doing that because of politics? Are you abandoning a principle that you fought for, for six years simply because you’re getting pressure for two days from Rush Limbaugh or some critics in Washington?
However, Mitt Romney has never fought for the so-called principle of an individual mandate on a national level.He’s never renounced the individual mandate in Romneycare, to the chagrin of much of the Republican electorate. In every Republican debate this year, he firmly defended the individual mandate, but on a state level. Romney believes healthcare, and a purchase mandate in particular, is a program states should decide to implement. He has never backed down from that position, despite criticism from right-wing figures like Rush Limbaugh, and he’s never supported a national purchase mandate. In essence, he’s never flip-flopped on the issue.
The same, however, cannot be said for Obama’s position on federal purchase mandates.
As a presidential candidate in 2008, in an interview with CNN, he strongly dismissed the idea of an individual mandate.
So, who is abandoning principles Mr. President? Mitt Romney, who at least seems to grasp the concept of federalism, or you, whose position has completely flipped over the past 4 years?