The DNC has hit Mitt Romney with a new ad purporting to show the presidential candidate both “flip-flopping” and advocating an individual mandate at the federal level.
“Romney supported the individual mandate. . . and for the whole country,” the ad says. Mitt Romney saying, “I like mandates,” awkwardly follows.
But many are saying that Mitt Romney has been taken out of context, and the ad is nothing more than a political attempt to make voters believe that Romney was for the individual mandate before it became Barack Obama’s signature legislation.
The Washington Post explains:
In the DNC ad, a key moment is when text declares, ‘Romney supported the individual mandate. . . and for the whole country.’ Then it cuts to a 2008 GOP debate in which moderator Charlie Gibson starts to ask, ‘Although you’ve backed away from mandates on a national basis . . .’ and then Romney interjects: ‘No, no, I like mandates.’
Looks like a gotcha moment, right? Wrong.
Romney wasn’t really answering the question about mandates on a national level. In fact, a few minutes later, Gibson comes back to the question: ‘But let me just come to one point. Yes or no? In your national plan, would you mandate people to get insurance?’
“I would not mandate at the federal level that every state do what we do, but what I would say at the federal level is we’ll keep giving you these special payments we make if you adopt plans that get everybody insured. I want to get everybody insured. In Governor Schwarzenegger’s state, he’s got a different plan to get people insured. I wouldn’t tell him he has to do it my way, but I’d say each state needs to get busy on the job of getting all our citizens insured. It does not cost more money.” In other words, the first comment was taken out of context.
The following clip shows the unedited conversation:
Breitbart‘s Larry O’Connor explained: “This appears to be a larger strategy from the President’s allies to align Romney’s state initiative to cover Massachusetts citizens with health insurance, with the President’s unconstitutional 2,700 page monstrosity– which exemplifies all that is wrong with his left-wing Utopian agenda.”
However, the fact that it appears to be selectively edited and politically motivated has not stopped some members of the media from embracing it as fact. O’Connor notes that Ezra Klein, CNN analyst Paul Begala, and even Wolf Blitzer seem to have been taken in.
He concludes: “We knew the likes of the Washington Post and CNN would stop at nothing to keep their guy in the White House. We‘re just surprised they’re willing to shed their thin veneer of journalistic integrity this early in the campaign. Team Obama must really be panicking.”