April 19th, 2010
02:35 PM ET
5 years ago

Rubio: Obamacare different than Romneycare

Mitt Romney endorsed Marco Rubio's Senate bid in Florida on Monday.
Mitt Romney endorsed Marco Rubio's Senate bid in Florida on Monday.

Washington (CNN) - With Mitt Romney in Florida Monday to endorse his Senate bid, Marco Rubio spoke charitably about the health care plan that Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts – a plan many conservatives have called a blueprint for the health care bill recently signed into law by President Obama.

In an interview with The National Review after their joint rally in Tampa, Rubio called Romney's health care plan "a work in progress."

The libertarian Cato Institute last week described the Obama and Romney plans as "identical." Both plans, for instance, mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. Rubio has called the Obama mandate unconstitutional and supports a joint federal lawsuit to overturn the new law.

Rubio suggested in the interview that the mandate in Romney's plan is more palatable because it is a state-driven solution, instead of a federal plan forced on the states.

"All I would say to you is that states were designed to be laboratories for creative thoughts and ideas," Rubio said. "That's what the Framers of our great republic intended. They wanted the states to be the places that came up with innovation and competition."

Rubio, accusing the president of taking a step toward single-payer system, said there are "major distinctions between what's happening in Washington and what I hope states will do."

He also echoed familiar Romney arguments on how the Massachusetts plan differs from the Obama plan.

"There are major distinctions between that and what Obama is trying to do in Washington," Rubio said. "For one, it didn't raise any taxes. Number two, it is not adding to our deficit. That is my biggest objection to Obamacare, although there are many others. My number-one objection to Obamacare is that we can't afford it, even if it was the greatest idea in the world."


Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Liars of a feather flock – – – you know the rest!

    April 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Edna

    rubio is an idiot. Vote him in and you will have exactly what you have in Virgnia, anaother McDonnell. Both of them know exactly nothing and think they are going to defeat President Obama. Keep dreaming!!!!!

    April 19, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    WOW. When a Republican is running for office there is nothing he will not say to get a vote.

    April 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Obamacare is a Romneycare on steroids ... I believe is what Rubio meant to say. Money has a funny way of making people's words change.

    April 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. chelle

    Wow!!!! Talk about spin!!!!! Wouldn't it be nice to see a politician just admit that he disagrees with someone in his own party...

    April 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. L

    "The states are to be laboratories for creative thought..." Well, then Romney should be flattered that their experiment was so good Obama adopted it for the Federal level. Innovation can't stay forever at the State level.

    More seriously, where in the Federalist papers, Constitution, or other founding documents do they assert the notion of the states as laboratories for creative thought and ideas? It's been a while since reading them in school but I don't recollect seeing anything close to that assertion. This feels like a very creative re-interpretation of history to suit his political ambitions.

    April 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. David in San Francisco

    WOW – this is amusing. See the GOP already backpedaling as we move closer to 2012.

    April 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Vic of New York

    Ah, Marco! Polo! Rubio!

    Seems like the Right has found new ways to split hairs when it comes to hypocrisy!

    Let's see. Now that it's done, Repugnicans are coming back and saying that Romnycare would have been great after all!

    Just great....

    April 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Dale

    Typical Republican standpoint: "Do as I say, not as I do."

    Romneycare = Obamacare

    The only reason Romney et al are against ObamaCare is because it is backed by Obama. If Obama released a statement that "Kittens are cute" then the Republicans would start having kitten roasts.

    April 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. will

    hopes for this guy will fade in November!

    April 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Gino

    Rubio's pants are on fire but nobody wants to put him out. He and Romney are running so fast from the Mass. health plan that they are falling all over themselves. Guys, just go away, both of you.

    April 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Olivia

    The distinction made between the Obamacare and Romneycare is as relevant as choosing between a blue bus or a yellow bus. When one needs to take a bus to go from point A to point B the color of the bus is completly irrelevant as long as the bus works. These GOPers try to defend the indefensible with puril arguments.

    April 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. kem

    Every time one of these imbeciles speak, I close my eyes and just shake my head because it is just beyond belief for me sometimes at just how many patheticly selfish and vile idiots there are in the world. It just slowly chips away at any hope I have for the betterment of mankind.

    April 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. jane

    I have no idea what "Romney care" is, but it does remind us Democrats that every time Republicans come up with some nickname for something, such as "Obamacare," we should come right back with one for their stuff as well. GOP'ers are great at clever, negative-sounding labels for something the Democrats are proposing for the people. We should play the same game right back till they realize it's not going to pay off for them, that negative labels have become meaningless.

    April 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Libertyman13

    Hmmm, perhaps Rubio ought to look at the CBO estimate which says that Obamacare will reduce the deficit. Just issuing a naked claim that it increases the deficit when the only nonpartisan analysis done says it does the opposite is disingenous even for a conservative!

    April 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Shirley in California

    His teeth are disgusting. Having said that – I guess Romney has a new boyfriend. He is such a hypocrite.

    April 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Dano

    There goes Marco speaking out of both sides of his mouth again. If his lips are moving he's lieing! Same goes for Romney.

    April 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. so what?

    Another republican obstructionist in the making! People don't learn, do they?

    April 19, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. so what?

    Are people so stupid to vote for this obstructionist Rubio?

    April 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Hendrik

    A little wiggle here and a little wiggle there and we will quickly be rid of that pesky Romneycare in MA.

    Republicans stink to high heaven.

    All of them. There is not one exception.

    April 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. cardog

    Health care in Mass. is not the same as Health care just signed into law??? Why do I see the Republicans, including this story, as hypocrits. Why is it that anything that is up in Obama world, is down in Republican world???
    Never in my 60 plus years have I witness such bigotry by such a large and at one time respected political organization. While I feel confident the American people will stand up aganist this stupidity of the Republican party/Tea party/Birther believers, the press and the attention these people have received this past year is a strong concern.
    America is the land of the free, it is and will always continue to be. Each day the Tea baggers and the republican party proves that to me once again. The things some of these people have said about our President, about the Democratic majority Congress is living proof that we live in a free and open society. Idiots coming to Washington D.C. with guns??? Idiots constantly talking about "Taking OUR country back", idiots calling the President of the United States a socialist/communist, idiots (Newt) calling our President a "Radical".
    Saying these things are proof that these people fail to realize can only be done in a "FREE" nation.

    April 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. RTB

    Just goes to show you "Rubio the Snake" can't decide on flatulence or belching.

    Keep trying you gas bag, release is on its way.

    April 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Rush To Judgement

    You hope you can make people believe that, huh?

    April 19, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Party of No Brains

    So let me get this straight....when Romney did it at the state level it was creative, innovative and competitive. When Obama does it on an evn larger sacle, it's socialist, evil and anti-American.

    OK...Thanks Marco for clearing up the differences in Romneycare and Obamacare.

    LOL

    April 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rubio is attempting to play with words to mislead and has failed to do so, that always happens when you are a liar. Looks like Rubio is gifted in digging big holes that he can't climb out of without digging deeper and deeper. Republicans better put a muzzle on this man or let Romney dig his way out by himself.

    April 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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