February 25, 2011 9:16AM

Romney Van Winkle

In 2006, then‐​Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) fought for and enacted a health care law now known as RomneyCare — though the law is so nearly identical to ObamaCare that one could call it ObamaCare 1.0. Romney is seeking the GOP nomination for president in 2012. But since 84 percent of Republicans want ObamaCare repealed, the fact that he paved the way for ObamaCare is causing problems for Romney among the party faithful. The most recent manifestation came in the form of a tongue‐​lashing from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), whose book criticizes Romney both for enacting RomneyCare and for refusing to admit it was mistake. In a recent interview, Huckabee said:

The position he should take is to say: “Look, the reason Obamacare won’t work is because we’ve tried it at the state level and we know it won’t work.”

Through a spokesman, Romney has — once again! — defended ObamaCare 1.0:

“Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered,” Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, told the Boston Globe, in the first direct response Team Mitt made to Huckabee’s criticism of the health plan in his new book.

Fehrnstrom added the usual stuff about how, even though Romney is proud of what RomneyCare/​ObamaCare has done for Massachusetts, RomneyCare/​ObamaCare may not be right for the entire nation. As David Boaz and I explain in this Cato video, to which Romney has lent enduring relevance, Romney can’t have it both ways:

It’s as if the guy has just awakened from a 20‐​year nap and doesn’t realize the world has changed.