ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
In what is now a well-known exchange from ABC News’ January 2008 Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney declared “I like mandates” when asked by moderator Charlie Gibson about his approach to health care reform in Massachusetts.
But there’s another moment from the debate that’s getting more traction after yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling — on in which Romney says “yes,” when asked is the health reform law he ushered in as governor constituted a tax.
GIBSON: ”Governor … you imposed tax penalties in Massachusetts?”
ROMNEY: ”Yes, we said, look, if people can afford to buy it, either buy the insurance or pay your own way; don’t be free-riders.”
“Romney has made deceptive attacks on the President’s health care law a central part of his stump,” said Bill Burton, the head of the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA in response to the 2008 debate clip, “but just a few years ago Romney bragged about the big tax penalty in his health care plan.”
Here’s a full transcript of the Jan. 5, 2008 debate.