Democrats circulated the Journal's story to the press today, though Wonderlich said that Obama isn't clear in the transparency struggle either. An "analogous" situation, he said, is that the White House won't disclose which cabinet secretaries and administration officials are raising money at fundraisers for Obama's super PAC, one of the entities that the president derided after the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision but that he now embraces so he can have more money to win re-election.
Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, said that the only administration official to take part in a super PAC event is David Plouffe, Obama's senior adviser who was his 2008 campaign manager. Schultz declined to say which members of the administration plan on speaking at future events for the super PAC, Priorities USA Action, which was started by two of Obama's White House aides.
Thomas Patterson, a professor of politics and the press at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, predicted that Democrats could use the case of Romney's once-secret emails in which he defends the mandate as evidence that the public doesn't really know where the candidate stands because he changes his positions for political purposes.
"It adds one more bullet to that chamber for the Democrats," Patterson said. "This one is kind of nice in a way that you have something that he said directly about the individual mandate, and you have something he said directly totally opposite about the individual mandate."
Romney has vowed to "take action" on his first day as president to repeal Obama's health law. He has said that states should work out their own health care changes instead of submitting themselves to a national model.
"We're going to insist that those people who can afford to pay for themselves do so," Romney said of his efforts in Massachusetts at a GOP debate in August. "We believe in personal responsibility. And if the people aren't willing to do that, then they're going to help the government pay for them. That was our conclusion. The right answer for every state is to determine what's right for those states and not to impose Obamacare on the nation."
Trimarco said he doesn't talk with Romney regularly anymore, and that he hopes he doesn't regret championing health care while he was governor.
"I guess I get the point of the story in a political context, but I'm not associated on the politics side, because otherwise it's a, you know, a story about a governor who was involved in a major piece of legislation," Trimarco said. "Surprise, surprise."