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Pawlenty Rips 'Obamneycare'

12:05 PM, Jun 12, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Tim Pawlenty has been reluctant to take any direct shots at Mitt Romney. During an interview with Steve Hayes the other week, "Pawlenty steadfastly—even stubbornly—refused to offer criticism of the frontrunner." 

"I’m going to abide by Reagan’s 11th commandment and not whack other Republicans or at least not be the first one to whack them," Pawlenty said.

But this morning Pawlenty appeared to change tactics and took a pretty good whack at Romney:

Chris Wallace: You will be debating Mitt Romney tomorrow for the first time in New Hampshire. What do you make of Romney's argument that there is a fundamental difference between an individual mandate at the federal level, that everyone must get health insurance, and an individual mandate at the state level?  Do you see a difference in principle on that point between Obamacare and Romneycare?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty: 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. We now have essentially the same features.  The president's own words is that he patterned in large measure Obamacare after what happened in Massachusetts. What I don't understand is they both continue to defend it. I took a different approach in Minnesota. 

Tomorrow night's presidential debate in New Hampshire will be the first time Pawlenty and Romney go toe-to-toe. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich will also participate in tomorrow's debate.

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