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Rick Santorum 'Death Panels' Speech: Mitt Romney 'Incapable' Of Making Case Against 'Obamacare'

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 02/06/12 01:29 PM ET  |  Updated: 02/06/12 01:37 PM ET

Rick Santorum Health Care

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is down, but not out. After a last-place finish in Saturday's Nevada caucus, the GOP presidential hopeful is upping his attacks against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's health care record.

TPM reports that Santorum appeared before a crowd in Minnesota on Monday, criticizing Romney's role in paving the way for a federal individual mandate.

"I wanted to lay out today the facts as to why this debate on health care is central to our country, central to this race, and specifically why Gov. Romney is absolutely incapable of making the case against Obamacare successfully, and therefore greatly damages our ability to win this election, this very critical election, in 2012," Santorum said.

Santorum also took aim at the inclusion of boards that judge the effectiveness of health treatments: "Someone referred to these types of boards as 'death panels,'" Santorum said, according to TPM.

That "someone" could have been former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Back in September 2009, Palin invoked the same rhetoric, charging that Obama's health care plan could kill her child:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

At a Jan. 27 Florida GOP debate, Santorum hammered at Romney's role in that system, drawing more attention to his Massachusetts record. The former senator questioned how well Romney's current views would stack up against his state plan history.

Think about what that means going up against Barack Obama. ... You are going to claim [about the Affordable Care Act], well, it doesn't work and we should repeal and he's going to say, wait a minute Governor, you said it works well in Massachusetts. Folks -- we can't give this issue away in this election. It is about fundamental freedom. ... It's going to be on your ballot as to whether there should be a government mandate here in Florida. According to Gov. Romney, that's OK. Those are not the clear contrasts we need if we're going to defeat Barack Obama and a billion dollar debt.
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