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. Mike, FL

    OlduncleTom, thats very funny, but true!!

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

    September 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Joker1956

    As far as I'm concerned Huckabee, Palin, Romney, Guiliani, Boner, Wilson and the rest of them all swim in the same fish tank. They just keep spreadin the same ole crap!

    September 18, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Brett from Austin, TX

    I used to live in MA when Romney was governor...he's a liar, a cheat, and a fraud...and basically ran as a liberal republican. LOOK AT HIM NOW! FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD.

    September 18, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Chris

    3,700 Americans die per day because of abortion. 18,000 Americans die per year due to lack of health care according to D.A. Rueter's comment. If the Obama care system is accepted you might save some of the 18,000 but you will still kill over 1.3 million American babies and get it paid for or subsidized by the government.

    Time to stop killing period. Abortion isn't a health problem and allowances for the Government to pay any of it's costs should never be considered.

    September 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Ed Turner

    What gets me is that spending trillions of dollars on a war we were lied about and didn't need to fight, "no problem", money on health care for Americans, Big Problems. As a Christian and a compassionate conservative I just don't see it.

    September 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Angie in PA

    Huckabee doesnt Belive in Healthcare but the Bible and God will pay your Medical bills!

    September 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Kris in AL

    Huckabee is a bigot. What Huck doesn't like is that Romney is a Mormon and that Romney is ahead in the primary polling for 2012 (and that Romney shalacked Huck in the 2008 race.)

    I would say to my fellow Republicans, do you want a religious zealot/bigot who was Gov of Arkansas or a tolerant Christian who was able to get elected Governor in a totally blue state?

    September 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. cjr

    Oh let what passes for the republican party duke it out – it will be so much fun – can't wait for sarah to enter the race and then there is the woman from connecticut who is a wrestler – fits right in to this group.

    September 18, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Sam's Nemesis

    If humans are killing the planet, then ALL humans who hold this view should kill themselves and be rid of the guilt you hold inside of you..............remember ,logic is the truth you don't want to admit.

    I'll bet healthcare would be more affordable then!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Jay

    Tired, crappy, usual bla bla bla...

    September 18, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. KATHLEEN

    AND WHY, OH WHY, didn't this idiot HUCKABEE speak up when the
    vote was up for 2 WARS!!!!! Where what the idiot Huckabee and other
    Republicans then? Really, they did NOT have "spine" when it came
    to dealing with "W". I think they were "afraid to speak up" or, it they
    had been against it, we, Americans, did not hear it!!!!!

    uckabee, in my opinion ran politically with his pocketbook in mind,
    not to care and vote for what Americans need and want. Huckabee
    further proved this when his next step was to be a public speaker,and,
    by the way, charged for speaking while running for President!!!!!!!

    The evangelicals are the only ones that loved him. He did not fool
    smart Americans.

    Romney is also an self serving idiot who care nothing about Real
    Americans who built this country.

    The problem here is the wanting, desiring of power. The only
    difference between these kind of big wigs and regular, average
    American people is not intelligence, but EGO!!! and Huckabee,
    has one of the biggest egos of all time. Romney's ego is huge
    hiding behind a expensive suit and "hair".!!!!!!!!

    These are MORE Politicians, much like some that we have vote
    in office, who DOB'T CARE ABOUT THE HARD WORKING MIDDLE
    TO UPPER CLASS PEOPLE, WHO STAND A CHANCE TO LOSE
    EVERYTHING.

    America will become the country of Rich and Poor and the Rich
    will and already leaving the country that they cheated Americans
    out of!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Jed

    Romney's plan was deficit neutral. It was the Dems who control Mass. Congress that added abortion and deficit expanding items.

    That said, the plan is pretty popular in MA, with only about 10% not liking it.

    Still, I have no interest in a national health care plan, as federal control of health care is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    What States want to do is up to them and the people who live in them.

    September 18, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. SC

    I started to get a little annoyed by those moron Republicans. They all jump on each other without any good idea of their own whenever one of them says something. These people are sickening.

    September 18, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Dan, WA

    Mike, slow down. Mitt Romney could not do it. MA congress is with 85-90% democrats so what do you expect? You would not do it AK if you had Democrats in such a majority. Get a life.

    September 18, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Steve, New York City

    While I do not always agree with Mike Huckabee, he strikes me as a genuinely nice person who cares about other people.

    I would urge him to push what he thinks is the best answer – why do (ca. 70%) of all personal US bankruptcy filings occur because a hard-working American gets sick, and can't pay medical bills? The only people winning are greedy Washington lobbyists like Abramoff!

    Elements of the right should wake up – health care reform is not important, but missile defense batteries in Poland are our most urgent need? Please – wake up!

    September 18, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Dan

    Huckabee is a loser. I'd take Romney any day over Huckabee. God help us if he ever becomes President.

    September 18, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Trueman in Toronto

    I like this, maybe the GOP will start to gnaw at itself again.
    This is the guy who said that under Obama's health care plan, Ted Kennedy would have been told to go home and kill himself. Why do you people value "free speech" so much if all you get is BS like that?

    September 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Peter

    Wao!! another circus is blewing who is the referee? fox news! I ca't wait

    September 18, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Marge

    Why does anyone listen to Gomer Pyle Huckabee? As a minister, he is despicable in how he treated Romney...a great conservative who could have easliy beat Obama is the Huckster did not split the conservative vote. Huckabee has a mean streak and he should just stick to playing his bass guitar. He could never win a general election and has only screwed things up for a conservative that could have one (like Romney...from a northern Blue state). The Republican National Committee should ask the Huckster to sit down since he is perceived as a bible thumper who does not practice what he preeches.

    September 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Jed

    Huckabee's divisive politics will keep him out of office.

    Has he not read the Bible? "A house divided against itself shall not stand."

    An attack on Romney is an attack on GOP ideals and America's chance in 2012 to undo Obama's economic mass destruction.

    Huck = CNN's attack dog

    Should be muzzled, unlike Joe Wilson.

    September 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Roger

    I love this story. I mean whats better than the Huckster putting another beat down on Mitten Romney. Its like a dad taking his worthless kid to the woodshed and trying to beat a lesson in him and the kid is just too stupid and stubborn to learn his lesson.

    September 18, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. RepublicanturnedDemocrat

    I am a Christian. I will never vote for Mitt Romney who is a Mormon. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. Nor will any other true conservative.

    Now let the conservatives hash it out over Mitt Romney.

    September 18, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. katiec

    Huckabee has shown how creditable he is when he went to work for Fox and started making their kind of ridiculous statements.,
    Not that I like Romney any better but he least he isn't in cohorts with
    Beck etc.
    Hope they keep it up and destroy each other.

    September 18, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. kevincollins

    Heh! We all know that if Huckabee's wife or daughter were raped and impreganted by a black or Hispanic, he'd be shoving after-morning pills down their throat in the car while speeding toward the nearest abortion clinic quicker than you could say Roe vs. Wade.

    September 18, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Felonious Monk

    ????????Value Voters Summit??????????

    What in the world?
    People voting without looking, listening, thinking?

    Bankrupt the system, I thought the system was all ready bankrupt. Bush squandered the surplus.

    It's a shame that they feel they must be politicians rather than statesmen.

    America's down the drain because no one is willing to compromise and work together.

    September 18, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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