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With Obamacare, Will Kind Early Words Be Regretted?

It's not quite a Charlie Crist–level symbolic embrace of Obama, or on par with the thorny individual mandate of Romneycare, but once and perhaps future senator George LeMieux of Florida — increasingly seen as a likely candidate for the seat currently held by Bill Nelson in 2012 — can probably expect some grief over comments early in his term that suggested an openness to the exchanges created under Obamacare:

Florida Senator George LeMieux said today he likes the sound of President Obama’s proposal for creating health-care “exchanges” to help small businesses and individuals form groups to get better insurance rates.

LeMieux, just minutes after taking the oath of office, had a brief press conference in the Capitol in which he praised some aspects of Obama’s speech on Wednesday and expressed skepticism about an offshore drilling plan in the Senate.

“Some of the things he (Obama) talked about I thought were positive,” LeMieux, a Republican, said of Obama’s speech on Wednesday. LeMieux watched from the House gallery since he was not yet a senator.

He compared the exchange idea to insurance plans promoted by Governor Charlie Crist, who appointed LeMiuex to the Senate seat.

Of course, LeMieux will be able to point out that unless one of Florida's House Republicans runs for the nomination, he alone among the GOP contenders has already voted against Obamacare; today Lemieux reiterated it must be repealed.

Jim Geraghty

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With Obamacare, Will Kind Early Words Be Regretted?

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