BOSTON, June 2 (UPI) -- Sarah Palin insisted Thursday she didn't want to hurt new GOP U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, then criticized his universal healthcare law.
"More power to Mitt as he mounts his campaign and best of luck to him," the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee told reporters in Boston shortly before Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, made his second Republican bid for the U.S. presidency official with a broadside against President Barack Obama.
"Barack Obama has failed America," Romney said at a chili cookout in Stratham, N.H., where he also said he would repeal Obama's healthcare reform.
Palin attacked Romney for enacting a similar healthcare plan as governor. That plan provided near-universal health insurance access through subsidies and state-level mandates.
Speaking near Boston's Bunker Hill, the site of a famous U.S. Revolutionary War battle, Palin said, "In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing.
"Even on a state level and even a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept, because we have great faith in the private sector and our own families, and our own businessmen and women making decisions for ourselves, not any level of government telling us what to do,'' Palin told reporters.
The potential challenger to Romney for the Republican presidential nomination said Romney's championing of the Massachusetts healthcare insurance reform law of 2006 would be one of the reasons Romney would have a "big challenge" gaining support from the populist conservative and libertarian Tea Party movement.
Her East Coast bus tour, which Palin insists seeks simply to highlight America's great historic sites, headed to New Hampshire from Boston for a clambake in the coastal town of Portsmouth, 10 miles from where Romney announced his candidacy.
"Coincidental that we're in the same territory at the same time," The Boston Globe quoted Palin as saying.