Politics

Santorum hits back against Pawlenty, Romney — revives ‘Obamneycare’ attack

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

After former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty bashed Rick Santorum’s record Monday on behalf of Mitt Romney, the Santorum campaign went after both men, reviving Pawlenty’s “Obamneycare” attack on Romney from July.

Pawlenty held a conference call on Monday to attack Santorum, saying he supported pork-barrel legislation and earmarking during his time in Congress.

The Romney campaign is going after the former Pennsylvania senator following a poll that shows him edging Romney in Minnesota, which holds its contest Tuesday. Santorum is also expected to be a contender in the non-binding Missouri primary that same day.

A Santorum press release following the call labeled Romney “Proud defender and author of ‘Obamneycare,’” a term coined by Pawlenty himself when he was a presidential contender and meant to suggest that Romneycare and Obamacare were one and the same.

“As Governor Tim Pawlenty so aptly said, RomneyCare should be called ObamneyCare,” wrote Hogan Gidley, national communications director for the Santorum campaign, in the press release. “Everyone knows that Governor Romney’s top-down, government-run, mandated health insurance plan was the basis of ObamaCare.”

“Oddly enough, the only accomplishment that Gov. Romney points to — and actually defends during his tenure as governor — is the most liberal, the most intrusive and unconstitutional,” Gidley continued. “In fact, the only area conservatives would appreciate Romney flip-flopping on would be RomneyCare. So why he doubles down on this liberal accomplishment instead of just flip-flopping as usual is beyond me. We’re all looking for Gov. Romney to finally have firm conviction on something, but it’s pretty telling that he picks RomneyCare.”

Earlier on Monday, the Romney campaign sent out a press release attacking Santorum for his “false attacks on Massachusetts’ health care.”

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