Romney: If Obama had called me on health care …
April 12th, 2011
09:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: If Obama had called me on health care …

Washington (CNN) – Likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinks President Barack Obama should have called him before implementing “Obamacare.”

“Why didn’t any one of them (Democrats) or the president ever call me and say what worked, what didn’t?,” Romney said Tuesday on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.” “Why didn’t he (Obama) pick up the phone?”

Romney said his message during such a phone call would have been: “What you’re putting in place at the nation is not only unconstitutional, it’s bad law, it will not work.”

Romney, who announced the formation of his presidential exploratory committee Monday, signed Massachusetts’ health care law - which has similarities to Obama's health care plan - five years ago.

Romney's plan and the current law include the individual mandate that requires all residents, with some exceptions, to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

But as he’s done before, the former governor admitted the Massachusetts plan “wasn’t perfect.”

“The nature of all experiments as it was is that you have things that worked well and things that didn't work well. And that's true of what we did in Massachusetts,” Romney said. “Look, let states experiment, find out what works and what doesn't. Take the things that are good and build on them.”

Yet the comparisons between the two plans will not stop him from campaigning on the law’s repeal or touting his three-step solution.

First, he said, he would direct Health and Human Services to “grant a waiver to each one of all the 50 states from ‘Obamacare,’” then “get a repeal in place” and subsequently craft new legislation that ensures people with pre-existing conditions aren’t refused insurance and that all people have “access to coverage.”

He also cast aside questions about the president’s birth certificate, an issue that real estate mogul Donald Trump has driven home in recent weeks.

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States,” Romney said. “The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn't the reason why.”


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. CSM

    If he had called you mitchie, if he would have called you. Then what? You Lie!

    April 12, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. rhumba

    According to the current governor or Massachusetts, the health care program is the best thing since sliced bread. Why's Romney so afraid to take credit for a good thing?

    April 12, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Indy

    So why didn't Mitt phone the President and tell him all the bad news about national healthcare, becase he did not care enough for his country ? If Romney cared about the people he would have made that call, but because he only cares about money and power he now wants to say " I would have said this" and this twist will only work for the people that Romney can hoodwink. We all know Romney's biggest problem is Romneycare/Obamacare and this is a very feeble way to try and flip flop on the issue.

    April 12, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  4. Dan

    It is silly or disingenuous to say Mitt would impose Romneycare on the entire country or that Mitt even supports all of Romneycare. Mitt vetoed 6 parts of Romneycare, but the democratic legislature over-ruled his veto. That's how government works... it's not Mitt's fault.

    April 12, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. Texas Doc

    They did not call you because none of them need a used car with a blown head gasket.

    April 12, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. ket

    so sad repubs have bamboozeled this country for decades.

    April 12, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  7. Collateral Damage Guy

    Don't feel so bad Mitt, the republicans didn't call you either....

    April 13, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  8. Ramesh Shrestha

    So, Mitt, are you telling me that it was okay for you to implement Romneycare and it is now unconstitutional for President Obama to implement Obamacare, which is his version of Romneycare anyway? Hmmm, I don't understand what message you are trying to deliver here. Are you just upset that a Democratic president implemented what you would have done had you been the president? Give me a break, Mitthew.

    April 13, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  9. TheTraveler

    Romney said his message during such a phone call would have been: “What you’re putting in place at the nation is not only unconstitutional, it’s bad law, it will not work.”

    Gee Mitt, I wonder why nobody called ...

    April 13, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  10. Sasha

    Of course, Romney still plays footsie with the birthers with equivocal comments like “I think the citizenship test has been passed" and "I believe the president was born in the United States”.

    When a GOP presidential wannabe can make a statement about Obama's residency without qualifications (such as "Obama is an American citizen," or "The President was born in the United States."), then they can begin to be taken seriously.

    April 13, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. John in Brooklyn

    Ther reason that nobody called him is that Romney served as the primary obstacle to healthcare reform in Massachusetts. The only reason why he even tacitly went along with it was that he had no choice....he was the governor of the most liberal state in the country. He not only sought to undercut it, he also did the same regarding same-sex marriage.

    April 13, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  12. Paul Ernest Show

    I guess Romney can't stand his own shadows. How can he condemn his brainchild? If he cannot embrace his own ideas, how can he embrace our ideas. Denial, deception, withdraw, won't help these GOPers. Romney has become the new era Chameleon.

    April 13, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  13. normajean

    I can't imagine why the president would call Romney to ask about a previous attempt at a health plan.that didn't work. He obviously had plans of his own never realizing that the Repugs would do everything they coulld to kill it and are still trying two years later. The interesting thing now is that the Republicans have gone too far and their chances of being voted for in 2012 are slipping away by the day!!!!!!The voters are not deaf,dumb and blind!!!!!This country can NOT survive with only the very wealthy as its citizens. They are killing themselves wiith greed!!!!!!

    April 13, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  14. Obama is Awesome !

    Romney is trying his best to dance around this , but he can't win this with conservatives ! They spent too much time trying to derail Obama on this if they make excuses for Romney they know they are going to look like a big bunch of hypocrites ! Romney first said it was different , when that was debunked , then he went to the I would only do it here BS ! Romney is starting to look like a pandering buffoon ! Republican's just need to be honest , the bill is basically a republican bill ! If it was a progressive bill it would be single payer or have a medicare buy in or at least have a public option ! BTW the President has asked them repeatedly if they have an alternative , the bill can be tweaked if it makes sense ! But the republican still haven't came up with an alternative ! The reason is Obama's bill is basically the type of bill that they put as an alternative to Bill Clinton's and they know it ! They are just hoping that their voter's don't catch on to this !

    April 13, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  15. Dave

    I would leave the USA if this man with the "game show hair" ever became president

    April 13, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. normanjung

    When getting health insurance I usually go through "Penny Health Insurance" website. The reason for this approach is because I get more personalized service and assistance. Once I went though ehealthinsurance and it offered no customer support.

    April 13, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  17. carrotroot

    It's about 5 years too late to try and take back the health care law you established in Massachusetts there Mitt.

    April 13, 2011 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  18. Marry

    Well, I know why the President did not pick up the Phone! A reform of the healthcare system was long overdue. But none of the above had any intentions to work on it – because they would have had to do something for the people and that is by definition against their very nature. The insurance industry does not like to lose even a little bit of their “money making machine” to rip of the people. So, what is Romney now confirming that the President already knew? The GOP/TP is against whatever the Administration is for. They do not work for the American people – they want to work to “make the President fail”. Must be something mentally wrong with them (greed)…I am sure; they can’t explain it in any other way! Please remember when you go and vote next time!

    April 13, 2011 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  19. ANTHONY

    Flip Flop Romney...
    Your Party will eat its own, including you.
    They dont believe in helping others. They dont believe in progress.
    You are part of the machine now, you are part of the problem.

    So double back, try and explain your way out of your 180 degree turn around, and pray to (your Mormon) God that the Insurance Co's dont come after you next by contributing to who ever is running against you...

    April 13, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  20. mike

    mitt romney campaign slogan. "I was for it, before I was against it"

    April 13, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  21. Corey Robert

    I wouldn't want to pick up the phone and ask the advice of a man who says I "need to be taken out of office" either.

    The fact of the matter is that the conservative Christian base (the loving, inclusive folks that they are) will NEVER get behind a Mormon candidate.

    April 13, 2011 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  22. johnmenacherjr

    Why would anyone simply 'pick up the phone and speak to mitt'? What a load Hes not anyone important this whole thing is silly.

    April 13, 2011 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  23. Chris

    More Monday morning quarterbacking from the GOP. It seems all the Repubicans do is wait for Obama to do something, then immediately find fault with it. If the President does A, they say he should have done B. If he does B, they say he should have done A.

    April 13, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  24. J

    HAHAHAHAH!!!!!! I hope he is kidding

    April 13, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  25. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America!

    Romney was for health care reform before he was against it. This is the sound of one man flip-flopping. It's also interesting that he claims there were parts that don't "work" yet he can't specify what parts. He's totally unfit to be president.

    April 13, 2011 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
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