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Gingrich on Obamacare and the Individual Mandate

5:33 PM, Nov 9, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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In his Fox News “Center Seat” interview last night, Newt Gingrich highlighted (from 18:30 to 21:00) that “the first item” on his legislative agenda is “repealing Obamacare,” adding, “I think that’ll be the campaign theme in September and October of next year.”

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich also addressed the individual mandate. He explained that “a mandate doesn’t work in part because it means more and more and more government definition of, 'What are you mandating?'”

In response to a follow-up question from Charles Krauthammer about whether he opposed the mandate as a matter of policy or constitutionality, Gingrich replied, “I believe that it is unconstitutional for the Congress to require you to buy something…because then the Congress could require you to do anything.”  Krauthammer asked, “So, you’re saying, in principle, it’s a terrible idea, even if [as a matter of policy] it might work.” Gingrich replied, “Yes.” He added, “A lot of us, in ’93, as opposed to Hillarycare, thought [the individual mandate] was a less destructive alternative. The longer we dealt with it, the more we concluded it was hopeless.”  

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