Romney’s Google problem

And I thought Rick Santorum had a Google problem.

As Mitt Romney’s second presidential campaign gets underway, Jamison Foser uses the series of tubes to look back at his 2008 website, which, among other things, appears to show Romney’s support for a federal health care mandate. Romney’s campaign, at the time, touted this 2005 article:

And his campaign website prominently featured two Romney quotes suggesting support for individual health insurance mandates:

You have to buy car insurance if you own a car. You have to buy home insurance to get a mortgage. Why don’t you have to buy health insurance?

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney re-ignited that debate last month when he announced a plan to expand health coverage to all the state’s residents, with a caveat that those who don’t buy coverage could face a penalty.

“We can’t have as a nation 40 million people — or, in my state, half a million — saying, ‘I don’t have insurance, and if I get sick, I want someone else to pay,'” says Romney, a Republican who says he might run for president in 2008.

It’s the question behind all health care debates: Who should pay?

Romney’s plan says everyone should: The state would work harder to enroll all residents eligible for Medicaid; employers, most of whom already offer insurance, would be encouraged to continue doing so voluntarily; and individuals who don’t have insurance would have to sign on to one of two new insurance pools, one of which would be subsidized for lower-income residents.

Failing to sign up could lead to a loss of a personal tax exemption or garnishment of wages.

For months, Romney has said he considers a federal mandate to be tyranny, while a state mandate is fine. The distinction is pretty silly, but just as important, it’s also dishonest — Romney has repeatedly expressed support for both. His attempts to argue otherwise are plainly dishonest.

And speaking of Romney, health care, and websites, Igor Volsky has a good catch today:

The 695-word biography on Mitt Romney’s campaign website highlights the former governor’s business experience, his success in “salvag[ing] the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from certain disaster,” and stabilizing the state economy, but it doesn’t devote a single word to his greatest accomplishment as governor: enacting comprehensive universal health care reform in Massachusetts.

I’d go a little further: Romney has a 535-word page devoted exclusively to health care policy, and it doesn’t mention Romney’s success on the issue at all. Literally, not one word.

This was Romney’s signature accomplishment during his one term as governor — his only experience in public office. It demonstrated his ability to tackle major policy challenges and work with members of both parties to pass a sensible, mainstream legislative milestone. It was the sort of thing a governor could build a presidential campaign around. In February, his spokesperson boasted, “Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered.”

And now, Romney is so embarrassed by his sole achievement in public office, he doesn’t even mention it on his website.