DNC ad blasts Romney as flip-flopping on individual mandates

The commercial seizes on op-eds that Romney wrote arguing for an individual mandate in federal healthcare legislation.The GOP front-runner now says the mandate is a bad idea, leading his political rivals to argue that Romney shifted positions out of political expediency.

Conservatives argue the mandate to buy insurance is unconstitutional and have filed legal challenges against it that are now before the Supreme Court. 

The DNC ad features a montage contrasting Romney's statements in recent interviews against older clips, suggesting he has flip-flopped on the issue.

"Mitt Romney condemns the individual mandate on the campaign trail. Is that the position he's always had?" onscreen text asks.

Recent video of Romney saying that he "opposed the idea of a federal mandate from the very beginning" is then played and contrasted with earlier clips, like a moment in a 2008 GOP debate where Romney says, "I like mandates.

"If somebody can afford insurance and decides not to buy and then they get sick, they ought to pay their own way, as opposed to expect government to pay their way. That's an American principle," Romney continues.

The ad declares that "Mitt Romney [is] against individual mandates, except when he's for them."

"Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected. Throughout this primary campaign, Romney has tried to rewrite history about his healthcare record, telling conservative audiences that he never supported an individual mandate at the national level, only at the state level," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "Unfortunately, he can’t run from the truth — Mitt Romney has repeatedly expressed support for a national individual healthcare mandate, based on the model he established in Massachusetts."

Rick Santorum hit Romney on healthcare during an interview Thursday night on CNN, accusing Romney of "serially" and "deliberately" misrepresenting his record on the subject.

“What I’d like to talk about, which is offensive, is Gov. Romney out there for almost a year telling people in the Republican primary that he never advocated that RomneyCare would be a federal model, that he never advocated for the individual mandate that would require people to buy insurance,” Santorum said Thursday in an interview on CNN. “And now we find on several occasions just in the last week, article after article, interview after interview, where Gov. Romney did just that.”