Mitt Romney’s support for an individual mandate as part of his signature health care legislation in 2006 has never been in doubt. But emails unearthed between then Massachusetts Governor Romney and top staffers reveal how close he was to the crafting of “Romneycare” and provide details on how he persuaded a skeptical Democratic legislature to adopt the provision. TPM Slideshow: Meet Mitt Romney The emails, obtained by the Wall Street Journal, reveal a politically savvy governor and his team seeking to maneuver a complex bill through the Massachusetts legislature. The bill became the template for President Obama’s national health care law, which Romney promises to repeal if elected president. For team Romney, it was clear from the start that a mandate would be critical. Analyzing a proposal offered by the Senate leader, Romney’s health secretary Tim Murphy wrote in a Feb. 2006 email to the governor and key aides: “It is unclear that the plan adopts an individual mandate. We must have an individual mandate for any plan to work.” In a confidential slide slow presentation dated Feb. 16, 2006 by Romney’s team for Democratic leadership, the requirement that all state residents purchase insurance was pitched under the umbrella of “individual responsibility” and dubbed a “free rider surcharge.” CONTINUE . . .