- The Washington Times - Friday, October 7, 2011

In a line of attack that’s likely to build in the coming weeks, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential camp is painting rival Mitt Romney as the second coming of President Obama on both the health care and environment fronts.

Mitt Romney and President Obama are carbon copies,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in a morning email blast. “In addition to designing the blueprint for Obamacare, Mr. Romney has provided President Obama with environmental policies and advisers.”

The email points to the former Massachusetts governor’s prior support of carbon emission caps, including in 2003 when he reportedly stood outside an aging, coal-fired plant to emphasize his embrace of the issue.

“I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people, and that plant, that plant kills people,” he said at the time, the Perry campaign said, citing to a Wall Street Journal report on the event.

The Perry camp said Mr. Romney went on to implement those “job-killing carbon caps for Massachusetts” on in December 2005. (Click here to view the campaign video)

“These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment,” then-Gov. Romney said in a press release touting Massachusetts as “the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants.”

The Perry camp also notes in the email that two former Romney environmental advisers are now members of the Obama administration.

While Mr. Perry has made a concerted effort to cast the universal health care plan — and its mandate that all state residents purchase health insurance — that Mr. Romney signed in Massachusetts as the model for President Obama’s national health care overhaul, the attack on Mr. Romney’s environmental record opens up a new front in the rhetorical war between the two GOP heavyweights, who have traded off frontrunner status in recent months for the 2012 presidential nomination.

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