Eric Hovde file photo

Eric Hovde, hedge fund manager and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, at his home in Madison.

JOHN HART – State Journal

Our friend Eric Hovde is hoping to win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination by attacking Tommy Thompson for supporting individual mandates to fund health care reforms.

That’s par for the course in Republican primaries these days, as everyone is running against “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act reform that includes an individual mandate as an essential financing element.

There’s no question that Thompson has supported mandates. The former governor and federal secretary of Health and Human Services said at a forum in 2006: “You’re gonna have to have some degree of a mandate.”

So he’s guilty as charged.

But this is what we cannot figure out: Mitt Romney did not just say he supported some degree of a mandate. He created one in Massachusetts, when he implemented a health care reform plan very similar to the ACA.

So will Hovde, if he becomes the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, question and denounce the Republican nominee for president?

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Will he refuse to support Romney?

Or is his opposition to mandates just sincere and serious in the context of a Republican primary he wants to win?

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