Mitt Romney's new advisor, Ed Gillespie, was a lobbyist for a federal individual mandate two years before President Obama embraced the idea.

In 2007, the Coaltion to Advance Healthcare Reform hired Quinn Gillespie to lobby for its agenda, which included an employer mandate and an individual mandate. As Safway CEO and CAHR founder Steve Hurd put it, "every American should be required to carry health insurance."

The coalition was funded by insurers and large employers looking to offload costs, require people to buy their products, and hurt their competitors.

Gillespie wasn't just one of CAHR's lobbyists, he was their Republican headliner, touted in their press releases.

So while Romney can make a federalist distinction about himself -- that he supports some state health-insurance mandates, but not federal health-insurance mandates -- Romney advisor Gillespie (who did not immediately return my call or email seeking comment) seems stuck admitting he was a for a federal-level mandate when insurers were paying him to be for it, and is against it now that Obama is defending it.

A candidate is not responsible for all the corporatism of his lobbyist advisors, but as I wrote regarding Romney lobbyist-advisor Vin Weber, and in general about Romney's corporatist streak, this sort of closeness to K Street makes it harder for Romney to draw meaningful contrasts with the president.


UPDATE: For instance, here's Gillespie's quote from the announcement today:


Romney's "plan to reduce taxes, balance the federal budget, strengthen our national security and protect innocent human life stands in sharp contrast to the ruinous policies of President Obama."

Do those "ruinous policies of President Obama" include the individual mandate which Republicans are making a centerpiece of the campaign against him?