David Axelrod Backhands Mitt Romney For 'Good Ideas' On Health Care Reform

Departing White House senior advisor David Axelrod took a jab at the achilles heel of potential GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a recent interview, when he commended the former Massachusetts Governor for his work on reforming the Bay State's health care system.

"[He] did some interesting things there on health care, you know," Axelrod told USA Today. "We got some good ideas from him."

In 2006, then-Gov. Romney helped to shape a new state health care system that, among other reforms, made way for the individual health insurance mandate, a divisive provision included in the national overhaul, which passed last year amid total Republican opposition.

Axelrod is not the first -- and certainly won't be the last -- to point out Romney's history on the health care reform issue, which is likely to be a part of Republican debate in 2012.

Earlier this month, GOP strategist Karl Rove suggested that Romney could overcome his previous support for one of the most demonized aspects of health care reform if he simply admitted fault in backing the measure as governor. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was similarly forgiving of Romney, saying in an interview last year that he simply no longer believed in "RomneyCare."

While former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, another potential 2012 contender, had been less accommodating of Romney's work on health care, he appeared to cut Romney some slack in an interview last November. According to Gingrich, Romney's loudly-stated opposition to the Democratic health care reform package and his resistance to some details of the Massachusetts plan could provide him some political cover.