Romney’s communication issues – He himself refers to Romneycare

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.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on January 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

    You are right: he needs to call it the Massachusetts Plan.
    It is a moot point in terms of being attacked by ?bama, at least.? If the libs say it doesn’t work, then ?bamacare, supposedly modeled after the Massachusetts plan, won’t work.? If they say it does, then it falls flat as an attack on Romney.
    It is a good attack mode for Republicans, whose voter base rightfully distrusts government mandated health care (given most of the world’s current models).? Romney can either embrace it or reject it, and he seems more inclined to reject it.? He can do that on this basis: as the governor of a Democrat controlled state, he was only able to influence the legislation with veto threats, and many, if not most, of his proposals were rejected.? If he wants to embrace it, with a caveat that ?bamacare is not well thought out and needs drastic revisions, then he would risk conservative votes, but in the long run, who will they go to, the guy with the pedal to the metal socialist model?
    Much of what can done will depend on the composition and control of the Congress.

  2. gillie28 on January 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Romney vetoed 8 sections of the health care bill in MA and all of his vetoes were overidden by the state legislature.? Don’t see that spoken of often, or at all.

    I’m so tired of party-politics.? Bleah!??We are all individuals and none of us carbon-copies of each other.? How can a country of about 310, ooo,ooo all be divided into two main, political?parties???????I’m far more interested in the moral character of a leader?and I don’t care what his religion or politics are….If God be for us, who can be against us?? God CANNOT be for, and support, immorality and corruption.? period.

  3. Lynn on January 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Thanks, didn’t know about the 8 vetoes. We in CT know about a Republican Gov with a Democrat controlled veto proof General Assembly. However, Newt’s the man, will only vote for Romney if he is GOP nominee.

  4. Dimsdale on January 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Romney could (and should) also say that he “has learned from his mistakes, but the president and Democrats haven’t, and the country is about to make a huge mistake with the imposition of ?bamacare.”

  5. Plainvillian on January 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    The term “brittle” has been applied to Romney.? It fits.??
    Herman Cain, please come back.

  6. ricbee on January 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Romney is a robot & Mitt ain’t fitt to sitt-he’ll never get my vote-I’m praying for Santorum.

  7. gillie28 on January 21, 2012 at 4:09 am

    ric?- don’t hold your breath for Santorum!!!?? Greg Gutfeld brought up a serious point about Romney that expressed what I’d been thinking.? Because of his Mormon upbringing, he has it ingrained in him to be modest and humble – not to brag about himself.? On the debate stage he is always a gentleman (notice that he actually turns and looks at the other candidate speaking).? So, it is hard for him to push himself forward.? Funnily, I can relate to this from a British upbringing as we were always taught to “be a good sport,” “not to be pushy,” “not to boast,” etc. etc.??Even after living in the US for decades, it was still hard for me to promote myself in say, ?job interviews.???

    So, I can see how Romney may come across as?not forceful or “passionate.”? Yet, in my opinion, he is experienced, competent and has the “right stuff” to get this country back on track.? We have to also remember that we’re not just dealing with electing a Republican candidate.? The general election has to be considered and I just don’t think Newt has the “cross-over” factor that would be needed to get centrist votes – remembering that most of the country is in the middle.?

    But, wasn’t Newt’s response to John King priceless?????…

  8. JBS on January 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

    So, if Romney is elected, will he seek to repeal ?bamaCare or will he trot out his own version of the Massachusetts Plan federally?
    The points about Romney’s Mormon faith are well stated. Here’s another thing to consider: Mormons put a lot of emphasis on the group or, if you will, the collective. A step closer to socialism.
    I find it hard to accept that he actually thinks the Massachusetts Plan is good, and would be good for the country. Businesses right now are sitting on record amounts of cash reserves because they are afraid of what ?bamaCare is going to cost them if it is upheld as legal. Tying up that much cash means that a huge number of hires are being postponed.

    • Lynn on January 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Absolutely correct!

  9. gillie28 on January 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    jb – doubt he’d trot out any national health care plan.? Interesting comment about Mormon’s emphasis on the group.? However, don’t think it’s socialism – totally different polemic.? They certainly tithe and support each other…but, isn’t that what people of faith are supposed to do???There are many, many rich and successful?Mormons.?? Huge work ethic, which basically contradicts the socialist philosophy!!!

  10. crystal4 on January 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Palin, Bachman, Perry, Cain, Romney…all? put on pedestals, then flushed away, sigh. can stop extolling the virtues of Mittens now and start praising the Newt!
    Love the “follow the pack” mentality.

  11. gillie28 on January 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

    crystal, that’s pretty condescending saying?”follow the pack” mentality.? There are some very smart and articulate people who post on this blog.? And, if you’re addressing me, I’ve always stated that Romney has best chance of beating Obama in general election – and few others have “extolled his virtues” on here (perhaps you didn’t actually read the comments).? Think most others have been pretty consistent in their support of their own candidates…of course, they’re not going to continue promoting someone who’s no longer running (Bachman, Cain, Perry).? Don’t think anyone is on a pedestal…I’m just being realistic…doubt if I’ll even vote in November.? Personally, think Newt would never win independent vote in a general election.

    • crystal4 on January 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Yeah, it would be a pleasure to be treated with condescension rather than the usual “libtard” and “demorat”. But hey, then I shouldn’t come here (you are probably saying).
      Well, sometimes I like to go to the dark side and see what’s the latest line of group think…guess I ask for it.

  12. gillie28 on January 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Crystal, the?problem is that you make it personal instead of just discussing issues.? You insult people and name-call and?that’s just not necessary.? Making your case is great…I certainly enjoy reading different points of views, and (in fact) have often agreed and defended you, so your assumption that you shouldn’t come here is incorrect.? But, you seem to enjoy putting people down and making personal, demeaning?comments instead of just debating the issues….and there are plenty of them to debate.??Personal?attacks are?a real turn-off, which is why Newt probably won in SC thanks to ABC and?ex-wife.

  13. Lynn on January 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Crystal, I welcome your comments as well. As for condescending attitude, there is NO One more condescending than the Liberal New Yorkers (are there any conservative NYorkers?) who have moved to CT because of the lower taxes and sneer at us nutmeggers when we vote a budget down because it taxes us excessively. They just use different condescending words in their cultured NY Times quoting “pearls of wisdom”. There is absolutely no difference of opinion in their realm. That is why I welcome the freedom of expression in RVO and I guess you do as well, or you would not read or write here.

    • JBS on January 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Exactly! I love the diverse opinions. I actually learn from those who post here. Discussion is welcome, at least with me. I sometimes get to see my blind spots. (Me?)
      Hey, off topic, but, does anyone else have a deja vu feeling with Newt as a candidate? It’s something that I can’t just place but . . .

  14. Lynn on January 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Sorry, JBS No deja vu. I think Newt is right for the time.

  15. gillie28 on January 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

    lynn, more likely right for the emotions!


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