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RUSH: Now this mandate business. This has gotten out of hand, too, ’cause it’s out there now that Newt supported the individual mandate as recently as 2009. It’s being reported that Newt supported Obamacare, the individual mandate and Obamacare in 2009. Some people are saying, “Well, he couldn’t have done that because Obamacare didn’t exist in 2009. It hadn’t been written yet.” That’s a bit of a stretch. The fact of the matter is that the Heritage Foundation at first (and Newt and Romney) are all on record, at some point in their careers, as supporting the individual mandate which is what the lawsuit against Obamacare is about. But of the three, only Romney has actually enacted it into law, supported it to the point that he’s put it into law.

Now, I know why. I know exactly — and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why one of these guys hasn’t tried this as an explanation. I know exactly why Heritage supported it. (I’m guessing, but I know. Don’t doubt me.) I know why Heritage, I know why Newt and any other Washington, DC-ite saw that individual mandate and glommed onto it. You want to know why? It’s very simple. They are conservatives, and the first thing they saw in an individual mandate for people to get their own insurance is individual responsibility, and what do we as conservatives believe? We believe in individual responsibility; we believe in self reliance.

So if somebody proposed, “Hey, you know what? We got too many free riders. Everybody ought to have their own health insurance.” So conceptually it sounded good. It sounded conservative. So you could say, “I support that because that makes me conservative.” Only later when it’s too late, you figure out it’s nothing about individual responsibility. It’s a violation of the Constitution, because the thing comes about by virtue of the government demanding that you buy it or you go to jail or pay a fine. Now, why somebody hasn’t said, “You know what? I goofed up.” Well, the Heritage Foundation has.

They have distanced themselves from their original support of the health care mandate a long time ago. I don’t know why one of these guys hasn’t said this. Well, Santorum never did support it unless that 1994 story that came out last week happens to be true, but that’s another thing. It would have been so simple to say, “You know what? I got caught up in this. Who doesn’t believe in paying your own way? We, as conservatives, believe in paying our own way. We believe that everybody should shoulder their own responsibilities. But I made a mistake. I was wrong.” And then get rid of it. It’s gone. And then every time, “Well, you supported the mandate…”

But then the story comes out you supported it as recently as 2009. It’s a little too late to do that, but maybe not. But I’m relatively sure that’s what sucked all these people in at first. All these conservatives, I’m sure what suckered them about this was the conservative-sounding appeal of it. Only later when people see the rest of Obamacare and then find out that the mandate is truly a mandate. And, remember, a lot of inside-the-Beltway conservatives are people that believe in government involvement in stuff, whether to break it or fix it. They just do! A lot of insiders, a lot of Washington career conservatives think government is prime agent, if you will.

You and I, of course, who don’t dwell there, who rarely visit there, don’t look at Washington as anything other than an obstacle and the problem. Now, it isn’t unconstitutional if a state does it. So Romney could say, “There’s nothing unconstitutional about my suggesting a mandate.” The problem Romney’s got on Obamacare and Romney is that they’re identical — and it’s gonna come out, and if nobody else brings it out Obama’s gonna bring it out. They’re identical. Right down to the architects, to the authors of the two. They’re identical.

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