Another day, another Mitt Romney endorsement. This one carries some weight: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a future Florida governor's-race frontrunner (just a guess). In retrospect, Bondi's endorsement isn't such a surprise. Her Florida political advisers Brett Doster and Mike Hanna, are Romney backers. Doster is Romney's senior Florida strategist. And Hanna (not sure if he has an official Romney job) whacks away at Romney opponents on Twitter all day.
There is an irony here as well. Bondi's leading the fight to stop the individual mandate of ObamaCare that required people to buy health insurance. Romney thought the individual mandate, a conservative idea initially, was so good a concept that he made it a cornerstone of RomneyCare in Massachusetts.
There is a state vs. federal issue that distinguishes RomneyCare and ObamaCare when it comes to the mandate. But Florida Republican legislators and conservatives say any mandate that a person buy a private product just because they're alive is a "passive tax." Yeah, we have to buy car insurance. But that's for the "privilege" of driving, legislators say.
Still, it's little wonder one-time Romney opponent Tim Pawlenty called it ObamneyCare. Pawlenty's now on time Romney, fyi.
Bondi deserves only so much credit for fighting ObamaCare anyway. Her predecessor, Bill McCollum, was one of the first attorney generals to file suit against President Obama's healthcare law. McCollum has endorsed Newt Gingrich (who at one time also backed the individual mandate idea).
From a press release:
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced the support of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Attorney General Bondi will serve as the Chairman of the Romney for President State Law Enforcement Relations Policy Committee. In that role, Bondi will help facilitate a dialogue and work to develop solutions for a variety of law enforcement issues that involve both federal and state agencies, including border security, human trafficking, illegal prescription drug distribution, and terrorism.
“I am proud to have earned the support of Attorney General Pam Bondi,” said Mitt Romney. “Attorney General Bondi has distinguished herself as a tough prosecutor and a tireless advocate for restoring conservative principles to Florida's government. She has become a national champion for constitutional conservatives as the leader of the multi-state legal challenge to Obamacare. Her counsel and leadership will be an important part of my campaign, and I am honored to have her on my team.”
“Mitt Romney has the vision and experience necessary to turn our economy around and restore prosperity to our nation,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Governor Romney will bring principled leadership and conservative values to the White House, and I am honored to support his candidacy for President.”
Background On Attorney General Pam Bondi:
Pam Bondi became Florida’s 37th Attorney General after being elected on November 2, 2010. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2011 by Stetson Law School for extraordinary service to Stetson Law and to the legal profession. During her career as a prosecutor, Attorney General Bondi was awarded the Lawyers of Distinction Award by the Tampa Bay Review for outstanding performance. Attorney General Bondi is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson Law School and has served as a prosecutor for more than 18 years. As an assistant state attorney for the 13th judicial district, her investigative and courtroom experience includes the successful prosecution of numerous first-degree murder cases and two capital cases.