Norm Coleman, Real Man of Genius. NOT.

Republicans spent all of 2010 using the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act to help get themselves several state legislatures, governors’ mansions, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Opposition to “Obamacare” is right up there with racism as a key motivational factor for Republican base voters, and promising to repeal it is a part of the campaign-promise arsenal of every Republican candidate for any office from president down to dogcatcher.

So what does key Romney surrogate and would-be Vice President Norm “Ignore the Blonde behind the Curtain” Coleman do? He starts rolling out the Romney general-election spiel, doing the pivot away from the base before Romney has the nomination securely in the bag:

Norm Coleman, an adviser to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney whose advice was once described as “critical” by the candidate, believes that his boss — or any Republican — won’t be able to repeal Obamacare if they defeat Barack Obama.

“You will not repeal the act in its entirety, but you will see major changes, particularly if there is a Republican president,” Coleman told BioCentury This Week in an interview that aired Sunday, according to The Hill. “You can’t whole-cloth throw it out. But you can substantially change what’s been done.”

The rest of the Romney campaign immediately went into full Damage Control mode, disavowing Norm and his comments early and often, but it was too late.

Way to win over the Floridian Tea Partiers, Norm. Oh, and if you don’t think Newt won’t use this to remind the GOP that Romney’s Romneycare is similar to the hated Obamacare, you are sadly mistaken.

Norm, I think you can forget about being anyone’s Vice President during this lifetime. Newt must still be cackling over this one.

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