Newt Gingrich says Mitt Romney should flip-flop on Romneycare (Chris Keane/Reuters)
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took a subtle shot at primary frontrunner Mitt Romney on Monday, arguing that health care mandates lead to "socialized medicine" regardless of whether they're implemented by the federal or state government.
The dig was buried on page 40 of a 48-page entitlement reform proposal that Gingrich released during a campaign event on Monday in New Hampshire.
"Individual and employer mandates are bad policy leading down the road to socialized medicine, whether the mandates are adopted at the federal level, or the state level," Gingrich wrote in that document.
Newt Gingrich has long been a supporter of the individual mandate, embracing it as recently as May during an interview on Meet the Press. Now that he's jostling with Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination, however, Gingrich has completely reversed his position—and as Ward points out, he's challenging Romney to do the same:
Gingrich revisited his response to Romney in an Oct. 18 debate when Romney deflected a Gingrich attack on his health care plan by saying he got the idea for a mandate from Gingrich.
"If I'd been clever I would have said yes Mitt, and I was wrong and why don't you recognize that you're wrong too?" Gingrich said.
Even as Gingrich prepares to unload on Romneycare, Mitt Romney is defending his support for the individual mandate. In an interview on Fox, Romney called it a "conservative" idea and said he'd gotten it from Newt Gingrich in the first place. That might be true, but Romney's problem is that Gingrich has flip-flopped on it ... and he hasn't.
Wouldn't it be quite the delicious irony if the one issue on which Mitt Romney hasn't flip-flopped was the issue that did him in?