Some of you might have seen the rather devastating ad from a pro-Obama SuperPAC below, but I doubt you could have predicted that it would so effectively lay a trap for the Romney campaign.
Looking for a response, Fox News invited Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul on the air to discuss the campaign's rebuttal. This, according to the Washington Post, was the result:
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, responding to a harsh new super PAC ad featuring a man who blames Bain Capital for his uninsured wife’s death, broke new ground for the campaign by praising Romney’s health insurance mandate.
“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care,” Saul said on Fox News. “There are a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their health care in President Obama’s economy.” (These comments are around the 2-minute mark in the video above.)
Similarly, at an event in Iowa today, Romney seemed to suggest his bill qualifies him to tackle reforming Obama’s bill: “We’ve got to do some reforms in health care, and I have some experience doing that as you know, and I know how to make a better setting than the one we have in health care.”
It’s a very novel strategy. And it’s fraught with danger.
Obama’s health-care law remains perhaps the biggest arrow in the GOP’s 2012 election quiver, because it so motivates the GOP base against the president.
Romney has been criticized for enacting a very similar law in Massachusetts. He was largely able to finesse the issue in the primary season and gather conservatives to his side for the general election. But there remain some concerns that his own health-care law may make it harder for him to prosecute the case against Obama’s law.
Top conservatives, including radio host Rush Limbaugh, were quick to criticize the move.
“Andrea Saul’s appearance on Fox was a potential gold mine for Obama supporters,” Limbaugh said. “They can say, ‘Romneycare was the basis for our health care.’”
RedState.com editor Erick Erickson agreed: “OMG. This might just be the moment Mitt Romney lost the election. Wow,” he tweeted . He added on his blog that this might be the moment of Romney’s “Read My Lips” betrayal of his right-wing supporters.
You want to hear something funny? I actually decided NOT to post the ad on this blog when it first came out because I kind of thought it was a stretch laying the blame at Romney's feet for the death of that man's wife. (Which I still do by the way.)
However if their response to this ad has the kind of devastating effect on the Romney campaign that the conservatives seem to fear that it might, then the ad might go down in history as the trigger for a response that ultimately doomed Mittens presidential aspirations for good.
Shows what I know.