Pawlenty knocks 'ObamneyCare’

GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty aimed Sunday to politically tether rival Mitt Romney to President Obama’s health care overhaul, dubbing Obama’s law “ObamneyCare.”

Pawlenty, asked on Fox News Sunday if there’s a difference between the individual health insurance mandate at the federal level and the state-level mandate that Romney signed into law as Massachusetts governor, Pawlenty replied:

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“You don’t have to take my word for, it you can take President Obama’s word for it. President Obama said that he designed ‘ObamaCare’ after ‘RomneyCare’ and basically made it ‘ObamneyCare.’ ”

Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, said he opposes an individual mandate “at any level” and favors repeal of the federal law.

“The president’s own words is that he patterned in large measure ObamaCare after what happened in Massachusetts. What I don’t understand is that they both continue to defend it,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty is seeking to expose what looms as a political vulnerability for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has defended the Massachusetts law while opposing the individual mandate at the federal level.

GOP White House hopefuls will face off in a New Hampshire debate Monday night.