Remember when Republicans cared about RomneyCare?

For the Romney campaign, the relative scarcity of health care-related damage isn’t an invitation to coast. But advisers close to the governor argue that the extent to which the governor’s law would be an albatross around his neck was always a touch overstated.

“It will be AN issue,” emailed Kevin Madden, a Republican consultant who advises the governor and served as his chief spokesman during the 2008 campaign, “but it won’t be THE issue.”

“Presidential campaigns are still, fundamentally, contests about the future,” he added…

As the actual primaries approach, focus on his health care law will likely become vogue again, in part because the conservative infrastructure, which has invested heavily in demonizing Obamacare, won’t be thrilled to see that year-long case neutralized.

“I think Romneycare is still the elephant in the room and at some point should Romney turn out to be the nominee it would be a real liability in his ability to challenge the president. President Obama would thank Governor Romney for creating the intellectual basis for Obamacare,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, the conservative activist organization that has said it would devote resources to stopping Romney’s nomination.