Rick Perry is up with a new ad in Iowa that directly attacks Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for having supported the hated individual mandate in the past — proof that he’s the true conservative in the race:

Perry has done us all a tremendous service here. A true conservative has now confirmed what liberals and Democrats have been saying all along: The individual mandate is a Republican idea. Both frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination championed it before Obama ever did.

It gets better. The ad states that Gingrich supported the mandate, that Romney passed it into law in Massachusetts, and that Obama then imposed it on the entire nation. And then it says Perry will repeal it. Why? Says Perry: “I won’t let the big government liberals ruin this country.”

So there you have it. Perry first confirms that the individual mandate originated as a Republican idea. Then he says that now that Obama has employed it, the question of the mandate’s fate has become nothing less than a referendum on whether “big government liberals” will be allowed to destroy the country.

The pa­thol­ogy of anti-Obamacare hatred, perfectly captured in 30 seconds.

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UPDATE: Perry, by casting the battle over the mandate as a referendum on whether big government liberalism will be allowed to destroy the country, is playing on what has become a mainstream sentiment among Republicans: That the mandate is a threat to American liberty as we know it. Yet as Perry’s own chronology confirms, this only became a widespread GOP idea after Obama employed the mandate. As Perry himself details, Republicans previously were comfortable enough with the mandate for not one, but both of the GOP presidential frontrunners to champion it.