Axelrod needles Romney on health care
January 31st, 2011
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Axelrod needles Romney on health care

Washington (CNN) - Top Obama advisor David Axelrod, who left the White House last week to lay the groundwork for the president's reelection campaign, is already needling a potential Republican rival.

In an interview with USA Today, Axelrod goes out of his way to credit Mitt Romney for implementing a universal health care plan when he was governor of Massachusetts that shares many similarities with the White House-backed law that has proved so unpopular with Republicans.

"We got some good ideas from him," said Axelrod in a clear effort to highlight Romney's involvement with implementing a law similar to that which is so disliked among Republicans nationwide.

Romney has stood by the 2006 implementation of universal health care in Massachusetts, but has said it was drafted to address Massachusetts's problems, no those of the entire nation.
As for the Republican field as a whole, Axelrod said it is the "most unfathomable… of my lifetime."

"I don't think anybody in the media or in either party can tell you with any degree of certainty who the Republican nominee will be," he said.


Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Health care • Mitt Romney
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Ouch. That is very clever. Romney thinks he is the gift to Americans but really he is more of a hypocrite than people are aware regarding health care.

    January 31, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Tough one for Romney, but then again he is the King of Waffling. If ever elected there will be a high percentage of things he will do the opposite of what he said he would do while trying to get elected. Not a man to be trusted. Opportunist only, not a leader.

    January 31, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Flip-Flop-Flip-Flop! Romney the flip-flopping carpetbagger. Hey Mitt, how many states have you needed to move to in order to achieve your goals besides Michigan, Utah and Massachusetts? Why do you say things one way when addressing Northern crowds, a different way with Southern crowds and a completely different third way with Western crowds? Don't you realize that people in all parts of the country read what you have said and have decided you are a hypocrite in a slick package?

    January 31, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Based on the popular vote, I would say the ideas gleaned from Romney, are not at all popular, because the majority of the public, didn't like ObamaCare at all.

    That makes Axlerod, a fool, or an accomplice to dictatorship, one.

    January 31, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Don't blame Romney for the Massachusetts Mess – blame the hopeless and overwhelming demcratic control of the Massachusetts State legislature.

    It doesn't say much for Axelrod to "praise" such a losing proposition as the MA law... and turn around and try to place that onus on the rest of the country.

    January 31, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Does everybody in the Country need a baby sitter? Hard work and git up and go made this country great not big Government Programs. They used to say, someone has to make the Trains run on time. Today it is someone has to put the goceries on the shelves. It doesn't just happen by magic. If you get a hand out from someone else, read that Tax payers, someone else has to do the dirty work to make it happen. When Obama and Axel so nd so is gone we will still have a 15 to 25 trillion dollar federal debt to deal with. Is anybody listening???

    January 31, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Indy

    No other country in the world that has accessible healthcare has done it without having the entire country having coverage. If you seperate it to states you will have nothing but a mess and it has been proven that the only way to have accessible healthcare for everyone, is to mandate that the whole country participate. Romney will never get past the one good thing he did which was healthcare, and now it is ironic that the best thing he ever did is what is hated most by Republicans.There are many happy and healthy countries that have mandated healthcare and the US is on the "worst Healthcare Access" list and it is high time to unite and move forward with healthcare reform.

    January 31, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. John

    Way to go Axelrod! Attack the candidate with any chance of drawing enough moderate votes to beat Obama... This is a sign that they see him as their biggest threat.

    January 31, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Rickster

    "Axelrod needles Romney on health care"...................so, basically, he is "needling" him by making fun of government healthcare, Obama's only claim to fame? Brilliant!

    January 31, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. diridi

    Repeal of Health Care reform is a total idiotic, and brainlessness.,...This nation needs this health care law....law kicks in 2014, sate run exchanges act as public Option....listen...do not repeal....if you do so, it is a detriment to GOP thugs election in 2014.....I am telling...I am a law grad...truth teller...o.k, This nation needs Health care reform and Fin. Reg. Reform.....o.k...just ignore GOP thugs....keep the nation moving forward...not backward....o.k....just now economy is reeling to good reports...keep it up...obama, we love you......go for obama 2012!!!!!!

    January 31, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    So BOTH of them are idiots! But there is a MAJOR difference in that requiring healthcare is NOT a power granted to the federal government by the Constitution. What is not granted to the federal government by the Constitution IS RESERVED TO THE STATES. So Romney was within his legal power to do it, but the wisdom of doing it is another matter. Now Massachusetts has a healthcare fiasco that the Democrats wish to inflict on the entire country. Stupid Democrats just want to play their stupid little child games with this issue. I doubt they'll ever grown up.

    January 31, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Fed Up

    Romney admits that the health plan did not work. Did the White House get that message??? No. Some people learn from their mistakes. Others are doomed to repeat them.

    January 31, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Republicans = Fascists

    "It doesn't say much for Axelrod to "praise" such a losing proposition as the MA law... and turn around and try to place that onus on the rest of the country."

    It's chess, not checkers genius. Axelrod is playing a game of brigsmanship that will back Mittens into a corner trying to defend the MA law. Keep your friends and your enemies closer.

    January 31, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Old Man River

    It is with a high degree of pompous self-righteousness that Romey would deride the very health program that he signed into law in Mass. No matter how you address it, the similarities of Romney Care and Obama Care are strickingly similar. It is just another example of the Republican mindset; if it's a Democratic program, say NO. No matter how good that program may be, just say no. The Republicans didn't get the Party of No moniker for nothing.

    On another note, I find it interesting that all the losers of the last election are jockeying into place to run again. No new names have dominated the process in two years. Sure, there are a lot of new Repubs who look like they're ready to run, but all the old losers are getting the nod from the Republican voters in recent polls. Interesting

    January 31, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. kat

    Axelrod is a Nut. He and BHO are two peas in a pod. While Romney tried the healthcare plan, I think he sees now that it was a total disaster. One state trying it is a good way to see if it's right for the country. They need to see the example as a failure and repeal this massive takeover of our healthcare.

    January 31, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. MPeters

    @Ray E.: And you're the first person to whine about needing a tax cut. Which is a hand-out; someone in this country has to pay for things. You are against actually paying taxes. Shush it.

    @ Rick McDaniel: Popular poling shows that a majority of Americans LIKE HCR when it is explained what it actually does. The only thing that is UNPOPULAR is the so-called "Mandate," which is A REPUBLICAN IDEA. Senators Bob Dole and Orrin Hatch (YES THAT ORRIN HATCH) proposed the "Mandate" in 1994. What "Obamacare" actually is, is the Republican Healthcare Alternative to Clinton's Healthcare Bill in 1994. Shut your pie hole.

    And to address Romney, he's for it before he's against it. He says its because it was "not meant to be a National Solution." Sorry, but we have state-by-state regulation of the HC industry now. It doesn't work and prices have steadily increased. Propose a solution instead of demonizing the one that you created.

    January 31, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Frankie

    Fair is Fair says: "Don't blame Romney for the Massachusetts Mess – blame the hopeless and overwhelming demcratic control of the Massachusetts State legislature."

    Sorry, Fair, but Romney was the Governor. One stroke of his veto pen would have stopped the Massachusetts Health Care bill from passing. The "overwhelming demcratic control of the Massachusetts State legislature" wrote a good healthcare bill for it's people, and Romney agreed with it. Now he derides the health care laws he supported in his own state. Hypocritical at best.

    January 31, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Tony T

    Axelrod is such a nitwit. Whoever the GOP has in 2012 is a shoo in. Obabamacare will be hung around OBs neck like an albatross, and Mitt and all of the other GOPs will be laughing as they repeal that unconstitutional mess in Jan. 2013, whe the GOP will hold the House, Senate and White House. If OB was smart he would insist on repeal and then do it correctly, but I am glad he is still trying to defend it. This way it is a win-win for the country. GOP in the White House in 2012 and ObamaCar, tossed in the trash.

    January 31, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Sgt Schultz

    Romney's plan is more leftist than Obama's. First Slick Mitt brags and boasts about how great his govt-run healthcare plans is.
    Now all of sudden he is playing games and pretending it wasn't his plan after all. I wouldn't trust Mitt to watch my pets, yet alone run the White House. Especially considering how he tied his dog to the roof of his car while driving in the freezing cold.

    January 31, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. bobby

    Romney is such a hypocrite. He thinks he is Gods gift to the USA. I think his ego is on a par with Trumps. Too bad Romney talks out of both sides of his mouth. He lost last time and he will lose again. Hes a rich pretty boy..thats it. Full of sound and fury and signifying absolutely nothing!

    January 31, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Good to see that SOMEONE in the Obama camp is nolonger constricted to playing by the rules while the other team totally ignores them.
    Guess what guys? You shoot , we shoot back!
    And I meant that metaphorically, lest anyone from either side of the aisle gets their feathers ruffled...as if I cared.

    January 31, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. ingrid

    I agree with Indy. Well said.

    January 31, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Name Creole

    You know some of these folks on her are brain DEAD...... The same fools that are telling America No to health Care. The GOP!!!. Are all paying for them and there family to have the best Health Care there is. Grow UP!!!And then they say BIG GOVERnment LORD HELP...It has always been BIG GOVERnment. They told Black they were 3.5 of a person.Dam folks!!! Now this black man is in office and it's a problem. When the other race has been running things it was fine to keep everything to there self's. Even there slave's BIG GOVERment . That's what it was and still is. Go OBAMA expose what the slave masters did to this country. That's why they hate you.

    January 31, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    "I don't think anybody in the media or in either party can tell you with any degree of certainty who the Republican nominee will be," he said.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    But who will the Democratic nominee be? After Americans had their say in November it seems fairly certain they will finish the job in 2012. Heck, Obama is still clinging to ObamaCare in spite of higher accelerating health care costs and a clear rejection of it across America.

    January 31, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. NC

    Mitt Romney will crush obama in the 2012 Presidential Election. obama is weak and inexperienced. This President hopey changey thing he sold America just isn't working, and hasn't worked. He will be a one term President and the American people will be much better off without him.

    January 31, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
1 2