Palin Slams "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts

Palin Slams "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts

By Scott Conroy - June 2, 2011

BOSTON -- Less than an hour before former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney officially entered the presidential race, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stood on a hill overlooking her prospective GOP rival's home turf and ripped into the signature issue that has long dogged him: the universal health care reform bill that Romney signed into law here in 2006, which included an individual mandate to buy insurance.

After noting that he would be a "great candidate," Palin quickly changed her tune when asked about Romney's record.

"I think that he'll have maybe a bit more challenges with independents who make up the tea party movement, wanting to make sure we are not going to -- we won't have any excuses or perceived political reasons to grow government," Palin said. "In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, obviously, and I am not the only one to say so. But obviously there will be more explanation coming from Governor Romney for his support of government mandates."

Pressed on whether Romney would have a particularly difficult time attracting support from members of the tea party movement, Palin did not hold back.

"That perhaps will be a big challenge for him because tea party activists are pretty strident, in a good way, in making sure that the candidate that many of the tea party patriots will support -- the candidate has a record of living out the principles that tea party patriots do embrace," she said.

Palin added that Romney may have a "good argument" that what he implemented in Massachusetts applied only on a statewide level and would not be appropriate nationally. But then she quickly went back on the attack.

"However, even on a state level and a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us to accept because we have great faith in the private sector and in our own families and in our businessmen and -women in making decisions for ourselves," Palin said. "Not any level of government telling us what to do."

Palin said that she is not yet close to making a decision on whether she will mount a White House campaign and added that the Fox News Channel has not set a deadline for her to decide whether she wants to keep her job as a paid analyst at the TV network or run for president.

After a brief tour of the Bunker Hill museum on Breed's Hill, her bus rolled north out of Boston and set on a collision course with Romney in New Hampshire, where he was making his campaign announcement in the town of Stratham on Thursday afternoon.

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Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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