Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., no doubt aware that legal observers expect the Supreme Court to overturn the individual mandate on Thursday, broke with President Obama in denouncing the central provision of Obamacare.
“[T]he health insurance mandate is not something that I think is a good thing,” Nixon said, according to St. Louis Public Radio. “Without going into great detail, having the government um….um….order you to buy something like that is not something that in the past I’ve supported.”
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, R-Mo., who considered challenging Nixon before scandal forced him out of the race, hit the governor for flip-flopping on his support for the legislation. “In June of 2010, while I was vigorously raising private money to fund a constitutional challenge to Obamacare, Gov. Nixon told reporters, ‘the job now is to attempt to implement the law of the land,’” Kinder told the Post-Dispatch.Missouri, often one of the most tightly contested swing states in the country, has correctly predicted 12 of the last 13 presidential elections. Obama lost the state to Sen.John McCain, R-Ariz., by 3600 votes in 2008. Nixon moved to the right on the individual mandate even though he is supposed to be a heavy favorite in his reelection campaign this year. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is much more vulnerable this year, but has supported Obamacare from the beginning. If Nixon’s decision to get out ahead of the Supreme Court ruling is a reliable commentary on Missouri politics, McCaskill — and Obama — could struggle in the state this year.