As promised, 9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman "Truth Tested" yesterday a pair of ads running from a Democratic-leaning group targeting the Republican gubernatorial primary. We discussed yesterday the incremental preference Democrats logically have for Republican candidate Tom Tancredo over frontrunning GOP opponent Bob Beauprez, which is primarily Beauprez's cash and the need to divert resources to counter it. Neither of these candidates can be considered a real threat to incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November, so the question becomes one of preferential advantage one of the other may afford Democrats down the ballot.
It's accurate to conclude that Democrats see an advantage in a Tancredo nomination, but it's tactical, not strategic. With all of this in mind, Rittiman looks at the claims against Beauprez in the Democratic ad targeting him–and cuts Beauprez a break we don't think he deserves.
CLAIM: "Now that he's running for governor, Beauprez says he's against Obamacare. But he supported the individual healthcare mandate that's the cornerstone of Obamacare."
VERDICT: FLAWED LOGIC
Beauprez did support mandatory coverage in a blog article before Barack Obama was nominated for President, pointing to Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-Massachusetts) "must-have law regarding healthcare," while arguing against a nationalized healthcare system.
That doesn't make Beauprez's opposition to Obamacare hypocritical, as the ad implies.
The Affordable Care Act is a big law with all kinds of other things in it: the employer mandate, minimum standards for health plans, and the federal healthcare exchange.
In response to questions about the blog post Beauprez wrote in 2007 in which he endorses the requirement that "citizens should have to have health insurance," Beauprez has claimed that he was only speaking in reference to Gov. Mitt Romney's mandate for health insurance in Massachusetts. This is similar to the distinction that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and other Republicans trying to parse their way through the 2012 political landscape tried to make–or in Beauprez's case now, to explain away prior support for a now-demonized policy.
It is worth noting, however, that his campaign says Beauprez no longer supports the individual mandate, even in Massachusetts, where he feels it hasn't worked out as he envisioned. [Pols emphasis]
This is "Both Ways Bob" we're talking about here, so the fact that he's flipped on the whole idea of a mandate today shouldn't come as a surprise! But the problem is, Beauprez never made this all-important distinction between a state mandate and a federal mandate back when he supported it. That's because at the time, the individual mandate to obtain private insurance coverage was a central conservative tenet of health care reform. It wasn't until it became part of President Barack Obama's dreaded "Obamacare" that the individual mandate went from enlightened conservatism to a socialist plot to destroy American freedom.
The ad against Beauprez is specific when it says that Beauprez supported "the individual healthcare mandate," and there's no "flawed logic" in the statement–it's entirely true. If that is a problem today, like it was for Romney in 2012, it's Beauprez's problem.