Video of Mr. Romney from a March 2006 news conference when he was governor of Massachusetts shows the presumptive Republican nominee praising the passage of an individual mandate in the legislature as an "essential" part of the reforms he advocated.
"With regards to the individual mandate, the individual responsibility program that I proposed, I was very pleased that the compromise between the two houses includes the personal responsibility mandate," he says in the video, which was found by the group American Bridge 21st Century.
Mr. Romney has acknowledged his support for a mandate in the Massachusetts health plan, but he says he does not believe it is the right approach for the federal system. He regularly condemns the mandate as top-down, government-run health care and vows to repeal it if the court does not strike it down.
But the video is another stark reminder that Mr. Romney is not the ideal candidate to do battle with the president on the health care issue - a charge that Mr. Romney's Republican rivals regularly lodged against him during the primaries this year.