Romney on the individual mandate

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So I read this quote about the individual mandate by a prominent conservative politician:

“No more ‘free riding,’ if you will, where an individual says: ‘I’m not going to pay, even though I can afford it. I’m not going to get insurance, even though I can afford it.’ It’s the ultimate conservative idea, which is that people have responsibility for their own care, and they don’t look to government to take care of them if they can afford to take care of themselves.”

That politician was Mitt Romney, and it made me wonder about his more recent public opposition to the individual mandate. Is it true that he likes the individual mandate for Massachusetts but not for the nation?

Apparently not, because he recommended that Obama use the individual mandate for the Affordable Care Act in an Op-ed at USA Today in 2009. (Redstate was not happy about that)

If he agrees with Obama on the issue, why doesn’t he just avoid talking about it, or better still, admit that so we can move on to some other issue?

Is he really so dishonest that he is willing to lie about his own personal beliefs on the matter of his proudest accomplishment just so he can attack Obama on something conservatives are angry about?

My opinion? Because it is red meat to the conservative base, and yes.

Thanks to Political Irony.

Edited to add: Republicans can’t tell the two apart on this issue.

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