Romney defends states’ right to mandate

Discussion over government-imposed mandates has raged in recent GOP presidential debates. Romneys campaign has faced a major challenge over the healthcare insurance individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts as governor, which has been compared to President Obamas healthcare reform bill.

In defending his states healthcare bill, Romney said the so-called ObamaCare bill was unconstitutional while the Massachusetts law was not because there are two different constitutions.

Romneys fellow White House contender, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), is also taking heat over a mandate he imposed as governor that required all sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated for the sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus.

Romneys defense echoed Perrys stance on the rights of states to govern individually. Perry is fond of noting that some issues should be decided on a state-by-state basis.

The plan that we put in place was put together by Republicans and Democrats, Romney said. It worked in Massachusetts. States have the right to mandate. States mandate kids go to school. The federal government cant do that. States mandate that you have to buy auto insurance. The federal government cant do that.

Romney has been gunning for Perry over the issue of Social Security in the last two debates. But Romney denied that the GOP candidates planned in advance to gang up on Perry, who is new to the debate stage but already leading the field of candidates in the polls.

Were big guys, both Rick Perry and me, Romney said. We understand that now and then well step on each others toes.