It's not the least bit surprising that Palin isn't a fan of Mitt Romney's fatally-flawed healthcare program, which many conservatives consider a disastrous prototype for Obamacare. It is slightly astounding that she'd choose to unload on Romneycare on Mitt Romney's big day, in his home state. Oh, it's on (or is it? See update II):
In remarks made at Bunker Hill in Massachusetts -- of all places -- Sarah Palin fired a shot at Mitt Romney over the health-care mandate that Romney signed into law in the state in 2006. The remarks came just before Romney formally announces his presidential bid in nearby New Hampshire, which Palin also plans to visit later today.
"In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously ... there will be more the explanation coming from former governor, Romney, on his support for government mandates," Palin told reporters today. When a reporter followed up that Romney has distinguished his state mandate from the federal one President Obama signed into law in 2010, Palin responded that even state mandates are problematic.
"He makes a good argument there that it does. States rights and authority and responsibility allowed in our states makes more sense than a big centralized government telling us what to do," she said. "However, even on a state level and even a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept, because we have great faith in the private sectors and our own families ... and our own businessmen and women making decisions for ourselves. Not any level of government telling us what to do."
Based on CNN's Peter Hamby's appraisal, it doesn't seem as though Palin is particularly reticent about dumping all over Romney:
Palin lingered for several minutes when I asked her about Romneycare. She is really enjoying this.
Oh my. Sarah Palin may not be running for president, but she's clearly not bashful about telegraphing signals to her supporters about whom she doesn't care for in the emerging GOP field.
UPDATE - Palin isn't the only possible 2012 contender who's unwilling to let Mitt have his day. Over to you, Mr. Mayor:
"The reality is that Obamacare and Romneycare are almost exactly the same," Giuliani said. "It's not very helpful trying to distinguish them. I would think the best way to handle it is to say, it was a terrible mistake and if I could do it over again, I wouldn't do it."
UPDATE II - Now that I've watched the video (embedded below) of Palin supposedly "firing shots" at Romney over healthcare, I've tweaked the headline of this post. Palin was directly asked about Romney and the Massachusetts plan. She answered honestly and respectfully. I'm not convinced this was quite the broadside the media has made it out to be. Also, Palin goes out of her way to deny that she chose to tour Massachusetts just to step on Romney's toes. I tend to believe her, but you be the judge (the healthcare bit starts around the 1:15 mark):
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography