Last week, shortly before a certain ex-terrorist (now pining for the fjords) swallowed the news cycle, there were still some folks paying attention to the nascent GOP primary race. In an early stop in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney attended a forum hosted by Americans for Prosperity and moderated by Tim Phillips.

It wouldn’t exactly take a modern day Nostradamus to know that Phillips was going to ask him about the health care plan he signed into law when he was the governor of the Bay State. The somewhat uncomfortable scene which then unfolded seemed to resemble a display of dancing which could land Mitt a spot with Tom Bergeron.

I was hoping I’d get that question!” Romney exclaimed…

Let me tell you, in my state like in most states, there are a lot of problems in health care. You’ve got people who change jobs, lose insurance and can’t get reinsured. You’ve got people who have prexisting conditions that can’t get insurance. You have something else you’re concerned about: people who don’t have insurance at all. And then you’ve got some folks who show up at a hospital with a heart attack or come from an automobile accident and they rack up huge bills — $100,000 bill, $200,000 bill, and they don’t have any insurance. And guess who they expect to pay? You, the taxpayers. In my state, we were spending hundreds of millions of dollars giving out free care to people who could’ve afforded it for themselves. So I went to work to try and solve a problem. It may not be perfect — by the way, it isn’t perfect.

Well, it’s an interesting answer. But I think what the moderator was trying to get at was something more to do with Romney’s previous statements about how the Massachusetts plan could be a model for the nation. Romney is still leading in the polls in New Hampshire, but this question – much like a tenacious Boston Terrier – simply will not go away.

But if Granite State Republicans are willing to give him a pass on it, he may still get off to a strong start next year. And he’s probably counting heavily on that.