On Thursday night, Rachel Maddow had some harsh words for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, calling his campaign a “totally incoherent mess” in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of “Obamacare” last week.
The ruling has put Romney, whose overhaul of Massachusetts’ healthcare system provided the model for Obama’s plan, in the difficult position of defending his record while criticizing his opponent’s. So far, says Maddow, he’s been doing a pretty terrible job.
As evidence, the host played footage from a 2008 Republican primary debate in which then-candidate Fred Thompson (remember him?) attacked the individual mandate in Romney’s plan.
“I like mandates. Mandates work,” Romney fired back.
Maddow pointed out what she sees as the candidate’s inconsistency on the issue of healthcare reform. “That is Mitt Romney taking credit for doing as a governor exactly what Barack Obama did as a president,” she said, wondering: “Why on Earth would you want to replace Barack Obama with a politician who did exactly the same thing?”
She claimed that “the Romney campaign is a totally incoherent mess over this right now,” and that “they have been flailing so ostentatiously on this issue that the right is freaking out.”
Maddow cited the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, which recently called Romney’s reaction to the ruling “confused in addition to being politically dumb.”
While some on the right are calling for Romney to replace key staffers, Maddow suggested the problem was more intractable than that. His past support for the individual mandate is the “inescapable, irreversible flaw in his candidacy,” she said.