Who squandered what, now?

…or, Hey, Rick Santorum was right!

The seemingly simple concept of an individual mandate to buy health insurance has mutated into a complex political controversy that has tied Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in knots and diverted attention from the Republican presidential candidate’s relentless focus on the weak U.S. economy….

Some conservatives are harkening back to former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum’s warning that Romney, because of his health care record in Massachusetts, “would be the worst Republican in the country” to run against Obama.

The Wall Street Journal, as right as it may be on so many other issues, is wrong here. It isn’t Mitt Romney who has squandered the opportunity to retake the White House. It’s the Republican establishment that anointed him. I know a lot of people think Rick Perry is an idiot, but I still think he would have made a much better alternative to Obama than Mitt Romney would for so many reasons — not the least of which is the fact that he doesn’t have the twin albatrosses of government health care and an assault weapons ban around his neck. And even if Newt Gingrich did support the individual mandate once upon a time, if this is any indication, he was still trusted more than Romney is by the Republican voter base (h/t Borepatch):

“So here I am, supporting Newt Gingrich,” Rebecca says. “I’m not in love with Newt, but I trust him more to stay true to conservative ideals. The guy pushed Clinton right, for goodness sake. I only trust Mitt to stay true to himself.”

So, Rebecca, about Mitt: why not Romney this time?

“I don’t trust him, and I don’t think he can win. He is utterly unaware of how offensive his disconnect with the average American is. He drops $10K bets like it’s nothing. He thinks $342,000 isn’t very much to make in a year,” Rebecca said. “I don’t begrudge him his wealth – he worked for it and earned it and that is admirable. But I hate his lack of awareness of how super-wealthy he is. His flip-flops are legendary.”

“Oh, and he invented Obamacare.”

Yes, yes he did. Whether he’ll admit it or not.



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