September 18th, 2009
02:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Huckabee takes aim at 'Romneycare'

Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-governor Mitt Romney.
Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-governor Mitt Romney.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – An old rivalry flared up again at the annual Values Voter Summit on Friday, when Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

Huckabee - who did serious damage to Romney's presidential hopes last January by winning the Iowa caucuses and has made clear his disdain for the former Massachusetts governor - told the crowd at the conservative conference that the Bay State health care system is a model for the kind of government-run health care President Obama wants to implement.

"It's going to bankrupt their entire budget," Huckabee said of the Massachusetts system, which requires residents to purchase health care or risk tax penalties. "In fact, the only thing inexpensive about Massachusetts health care bill is that there you can get a $50 abortion."

"Frankly if that's where we're headed with the public option and government run health care, thank you but no thank you, our wallets and our babies will be better off without it," Huckabee said.

Romney's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom quickly shot back, calling the claims "not true."

"The cost of our health reforms is roughly 1.5 percent of $27 billion state budget, hardly a budget buster," Fehrnstrom said. He said the health care law doesn't mention abortion, "but court precedents in Massachusetts require government-subsidized plans to offer it."

Ferhnstrom also argued that the Massachusetts law proves that health care can be fixed without a government intrusion.

"The lesson from the Massachusetts experience is that you don't need to create a new government insurance option to get more people covered," he said. "What Governor Romney did was to strengthen our private market system."

Both Huckabee and Romney are considering repeat presidential bids in 2012.

But Huckabee isn't the only potential GOP contender to criticize "Romneycare" - in July, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a series of critical statements about the system, saying that costs turned out to be higher than expected, resulting in higher taxes and fees.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. B

    Can’t these people say anything without Fear Mongering along with it??

    This has been the biggest holdback to understanding the real issues in healthcare, playing to the wedge issues, and false claims about abortion and illegal aliens ect.

    Same old GOP fear peddling..

    September 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Does Governor Mike Huckabee have an alternative or is he just saying NO to solutions on Healthcare, statewise or nationallt?

    September 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Louden Swain

    Huck-a-loogie – is always trying to stir the pot...we can thank him for helping Obama get to the white house.

    September 18, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Shirley In California

    A house divided ...

    September 18, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Justin

    Mike Huckabee is a poor, silly man.

    All he ever loved doing was attacking Romney.

    This guy could care less about the USA.

    He just doesn't like people of the Mormon faith and it shows.

    Unfortunately his ignorance of what Mormons believe also shows.

    This man has chosen an unfortunate lifestyle and way of treating others.

    September 18, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. pc

    Huckabee is no better than Romney. He showed his colors a long time ago. Go home Huckabee, nobody wants to hear from you!

    September 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. KATHLEEN

    I ALWAYS knew that HUCKABUCK was wolf in sheeps clothing.

    He sounds like a total idiot to me and HE IS NOT ALL that nice as
    he talks.

    He is a total, babbling idiot.

    Huckabuck is a evangelist who only cares about himself and his
    riches and power.

    Mind you, If you call yourself a Republican these days, we know
    what you think. Speaks volumes just the name Republican.

    September 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. DickCheneyTheMadharchodh

    what about death panels from Sarah Palin (our grandma :-) )??

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Jayden,FL

    Looks to me like Huckabee is in full 2012 presidential candidate mode!

    September 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. No Incumbents 2010

    Huckabee is acting like a typical Repugliklan by yelling lies about Romney. Just like Palin and Grassley lied about death panels. Instead of making attacks on each other for political gain when we have soldiers in harm's way, Repukes should try to do something positive to deal with America's problems. Repukes should reduce the number of abortions by agreeing to adopt crack and AIDS babies before they are born.

    September 18, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Grrr-awful-o

    Obama, his administration and the congress are neo-socialists (neo-socs). They don't care whether the economy or free markets get tanked. They just care that "the poor" will get something for nothing. And that the government ends up in charge of everything. (Did anyone notice that we're retreating more from national defense every day? Need the money to give to the poor.)

    September 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Oh I get it.....we should model our standard of living on that achieved by the great state of Arkansas, as opposed to the healthcare standards of Massachusetts. Frankly, if I needed surgery I'd head to Boston, not Little Rock.

    Sit down and shut up Huckabee...it only makes you look silly when you don't know what you're talking about.

    September 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Zion

    Romney was one of the first governors to endorse a policy similar to the public option. So, good luck with him running as president. He shares many views that Obama has.

    September 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Roger in CA

    Why does Joe Sixpack give a ^*&^* about government deficits when it comes to health care, especially when the government is going to be in deficit for any number of reasons (including fighting an unnecessary war like Iraq)?

    How the thought-controllers on the right somehow got the average person to work against his/her personal economic interests on issues like health care reform is beyond me.

    September 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. OldUncleTom

    Much better we should have "Huckabee-Care"; Pray a lot, Die quietly, and Remember, Jesus Loves You.

    September 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Richp

    Here we go again, same old rhetoric, we need to get EVERY ONE of these career politicians OUT, from both parties. Do not give any money to national party, find a candidate you like and can support and donate your time and money to them. We need to elect people who don't want the job, who cannot be bought by lobbyists and corporations. We need both houses filled with people who follow the constitution and not spend their time figuring out how to get around it or just plain ignoring it and hoping it never gets challenged.

    September 18, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. patrick

    Huckabee is a fraud, Romney, did the right thing. I mean, this is an oxymoron to be talking bad about universal health care to values voters?????? What????? What values are these? Huckabee, do a commercial for weight watchers or something. Jesus Christ would care a lot more about making sure the poor and mentally ill are cared for then taxes... wait, I am starting to sound like you, pretending like I would know what Jesus Christ would think. The GOP need Goldwater back, its a bankrupt party built on false morals and obstruction.

    September 18, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    Huckabee and Romney need to Play Russian Roulette :)

    September 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Reagan was wrong

    Here's my impersonation of Huckabee:

    "Jesus Jesus Jesus America Jesus Jesus Jesus"

    Thank you, I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress.

    September 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Mario, mtl, ca.

    ohoho the game between neocon religoulous is starting, lets have fun with it

    September 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Two losers that don't stand a chance against Obama.

    September 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. God n' Country

    Huckabee is not a bad guy, in my opinion. But does anyone remember 2 years ago when he had a fit when Romney attacked his policies?

    September 18, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. ucla

    GOP will abort their chances at the presidential seat in 2012 if they continue to focus their campaign on anti-abortion sentiments. Palin put Obama into the White House. Moderates are not going to vote for Huckabee or Palin because they contradict the conservative concept of less government.

    September 18, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Steve

    2012 – Let's Not HUCK IT UP!

    September 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Nevada dude

    Huck and Romney–the Dream Team....

    ....for Democrats!!!

    you two can thump your bibles all you want, my relationship with God is none of your business. In 2012 i wont be looking for a priest, im looking for a President. so far, I think i will keep the one i have.

    September 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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