Romneycare ain't Iraq 

Politico’s Alex Burns writes in his Morning Score today:

THE HEALTH CARE ANSWER – Romney’s new line, to the Boston Globe, defending his support for the unpopular Massachusetts health care overhaul: “The health of the people in Massachusetts is more important to me than the health of my political prospects.”

COMPARE – John McCain’s mantra, ca. 2007-2008, defending his support for the surge and unpopular war in Iraq: “I’d rather lose an election than lose a war.”

Team Romney is deluding themselves if they think they can draw any comparisons between Romney on Romneycare circa 2012 and McCain on Iraq circa 2008.

For starters, the GOP base was, and still is, heavily invested in success in Iraq. By contrast, no Republican outside of Massachusetts is committed to Romneycare’s success. Second, McCain managed to turn his leadership on Iraq into an asset by leading support in Congress for President Bush’s surge. What is Romney going to do, lead support in the Massachusetts State House for single payer?

The better comparison between Romney 2012 and McCain 2008 is between health care and illegal immigration. The issue was never a selling point for McCain, but he did have to admit his amnesty position was wrong, and embrace enforcement-first before primary voters would accept him as the nominee. This is Romney’s only viable path too.

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