First off, I’m not “in Romney’s camp” and I’m just making an observation. Did anyone else notice GOP candidate for president Gov. Mitt Romney referred to Massachusetts’ health care legislation and law as “Romneycare?”
The term was used five times during last night’s debate in South Carolina, and after Sen. Rick Santorum and Speaker Newt Gingrich each mentioned the term twice, Romney himself referred to the Massachusetts plan as “Romneycare,” not emphasizing the quotes used in the transcript.
After referring to Gingrich’s ads and statements questioning his pro-life stand, Romney answered…
MR. ROMNEY: I’m not questioned on character or integrity very often, and I — I don’t feel like standing here for that. But let me clarify the things which are wrong in what the speaker just said. And — and he can get a scintilla of truth in there to make it seem like this is a significant issue. But let’s go through one by one.
First, in “Romneycare,” [Romney did not use the sarcastic quote hand-motion] there’s no mention of abortion whatsoever. The courts in Massachusetts, the Supreme Court was the body that decided that all times that there was any subsidy of health care in Massachusetts that one received abortion care. That was not done by the legislature, would not be done by me either. I would have vetoed such a thing. That was done by the courts, not by the legislature or by me.
Number two, it’s true, somewhere in that bill of ours, 70 pages, there’s the mention of the word(s) “Planned Parenthood,” but it describes a person at a technical advisory board about payment structures. There’s no requirement — or no participation of — of Planned Parenthood in our health care plan.
With regards to judges, I appointed probably 50 or 60 judges — at the trial court level, mostly, the great majority. These were former prosecutors; 80 percent of them former prosecutors. We don’t have a litmus test for appointing judges — asking them if they’re pro-life or not pro-life. These were people going after crimes and — and — and the like. I didn’t get to appoint any Supreme Court justices.
I — I am pro-life. And the Massachusetts Citizens for Life and several other family-oriented groups wrote a letter two weeks ago and said they’d watched my record, that I was an avidly pro-life governor. I am a pro-life governor; I am a pro-life individual.
And I — I have to be honest here. It is — this is not the time to be doubting people’s words, or questioning their integrity. I am pro-life — by the way, is there any possibility that I’ve ever made a mistake in that regard, I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly. But you can count on me, as president of the United States, to pursue a policy that protects the life of unborn, whether here in this country or overseas. And I’ll reverse the policies of this president. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.)
My advice to Romney would be to remind voters that the Massachusetts legislature – and the state’s population – was a big part of the equation when it came to the health care mandate within the state. There has been a hint of federalism concerning previous Romney responses on the subject, and I do believe a state should have the ability to sponsor a socialist-type health care or education system, but the federal government should not be involved at all.
That said, as a free-market conservative, I’m quite certain the socialist/progressive systems won’t work in the long term, and heck, look at what has happened in the short-term.