Mitt Romney may be facing an uphill battle when it comes to explaining his previous health care positions to conservatives.
Ahead of a major health care speech he's scheduled to deliver today, the Wall Street Journal trashes Romney in an editorial, calling him a "compromised and not credible" candidate because of the health care plan he signed into law while governor of Massachusetts.
The law, which bears more than a passing resemblance to President Obama's controversial health care plan, amounts to a "fatal flaw" for Romney, the paper's editorial board writes. The editorial labels Romney "Obama's running mate."
"Romney now claims ObamaCare should be repealed, but his failure to explain his own role or admit any errors suggests serious flaws both in his candidacy and as a potential president," the paper says. "If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket."
While Romney is not yet officially a 2012 contender, health care already appears to be his biggest liability in his expected bid for the GOP nomination.
The Massachusetts bill--like Obama's plan--included individual mandates for coverage. Romney, who said through a spokesman that he's "proud" of the legislation, has frequently tried to distinguish between his plan and Obama's by arguing the federal government shouldn't be imposing health care standards on the states.
Still, many of his potential GOP rivals--including Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee--have called on Romney to admit he made a mistake in legally requiring individuals to obtain insurance. So far, Romney has refused, and judging by early leaks from his exploratory campaign, his speech today is unlikely to deliver any of the mea culpa conservatives are looking for.
(Photo of Romney: Alex Brandon/AP)