Pawlenty takes a swing at 'Obamneycare'
June 12th, 2011
11:51 AM ET
7 years ago

Pawlenty takes a swing at 'Obamneycare'

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty stepped up his attacks on Mitt Romney Sunday, labeling the current health care law "Obamneycare" for its similarities to the plan instituted in Massachusetts while Romney was governor.

"President Obama said that he designed 'Obamacare' after 'Romneycare' and basically made it 'Obamneycare," Pawlenty said on "Fox News Sunday."

The former Minnesota governor previously tiptoed around criticism of Romney's health care plan and the new attack line is the most direct shot at his rival. The two will meet for the first time on a debate stage Monday in New Hampshire.

"The president's own words is that he patterned in large measure 'Obamacare' after what happened in Massachusetts," Pawlenty said. "What I don't understand is they both continue to defend it."

Romney has been critical of President Obama's plan while defending the Massachusetts law as a state experiment that was not meant for the nation.

But Pawlenty used the opportunity to tout his past in Minnesota, where he decided against an individual mandate, the biggest similarity in the Obama and Romney plans.

"I think it's a dramatic overreach by government forcing the consumer to buy a good or service because of a government edict or mandate," Pawlenty said. "I was asked to consider the individual mandate when I was governor on several occasions and I rejected it every time."

CNN hosts the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate on Monday from Manchester at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    American taxpayers pay $92 billion dollars into MEDICAL RESEARCH that is enjoyed by others around the World and some countries their citizens have universal medical care. Either give Americans the same services or give taxpayers their money back. Wake up people, you're paying for something Republicans don't want you to have because they are tied in with the insurance companies who also benefit from medical research.

    June 12, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    When is Pawlenty going to man-up and start telling folks about the multi-billion dollar debt he left Minnesota? And the way he cut back state funding that in part lead to the Minneapolis bridge collapse?

    June 12, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    TPaw is too weak and limp to swing a baseball bat. He can, however, ignore interstate bridges and let them collapse, ruin a state's education system, spend surpluses like W, and the list goes on and on and on (all negatives).

    Go ahead and make him your nominee. Insurance companies will continue to be the death panels they already are by raising rates, dropping your coveerage, and denying claims.

    June 12, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. thomas

    Pawlenty is a do nothing mouth !

    Why do we have such low life governing such great opportunity .

    Obama better get his act together or these freaks will pull us back to the past !

    June 12, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. steven harnack

    I guess that means i can, or should, ignore my state's mandate that I have auto insurance since "it's never good that that government mandates the citizens to buy any product" because the same person that will be devastated when I run into him is the person that pays my medical bills when I use the hospital with no way to pay the bill. Everyone better just look out for himself ,right? And what's best for myself is to stiff everyone else.

    June 12, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Obama care is gift for republican who goes against Mitt Romney

    If they can’t attack Romney care attack Obama care both are same

    June 12, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. The Elephant In The Room

    I expect a leader to develop a unique vision that makes sense for solving our problems.

    TPaw`s railing against a mandate ignores the FACT that he supported the auto insurance mandate from government.

    It matters not that this was a state mandate instead of a federal manadate. Besides, all 50 states require car insurance so it is a de-facto Federal mandate.

    Sir, you won`t win by playing word games and insulting the public`s intelligence.

    June 12, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. AntiPawlenty

    Pawlenty has a political Napoleon complex. He's a small man in a big race and he hates it.

    June 12, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Bill, NY

    Another joke candidate! A member of those who are destroying this nation. With him we'll get Pawlenty of nothing.

    June 12, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. allens

    Pawlenty is so extreme, he is sick. he is as dangerous as craig huey, running for congress in the 36th district. both of these guys are very scary

    June 12, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    vic , nashville ,tn
    ...If they can’t attack Romney care attack Obama care both are same
    Not even close. ObamaCare ended up being a failed attempt at political one-upsmanship under the tag of health care reform. It missed on all of the important objectives. For one, it is a political failure for Obama rather than a victory. He will be smart to keep his distance from ObamaCare during his 2012 campaign. Second, it only raised the cost of an already too expensive health care system even more. We already see that. Third, it is not even close to being paid for by any stretch of the imagination. It relies on raiding Medicare funding which is already on it's way to being broke, and it relies on future congresses raising taxes. Really? It was a purely Democratic Party partisan bill which even many Democrats had a difficult time supporting. Romneycare was bipartisan and limited in scope to one state at a time when that state could afford to take on that effort. In contrast, the American economy is in no shape to take the beating ObamaCare will impart on it. We can do better and we will.

    June 12, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. revinger

    he's another one on the payroll of the Big Insurance lobby.

    June 12, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Chumlee

    Little Timmy – you could not add one + one and get the answer correct!

    June 12, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. revinger

    not until we have single payer will we begin to dig ourselves out of this corporate ditch. and pawlenty will dig us plenty deeper.

    June 12, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. truth2power

    Universal single payer is the sign of a civilized nation.

    June 12, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. atlantic1

    We are mandated in FL to purchase auto and flood insurance or we are fined. This is fine with everyone since without this mandate the taxpayer would be saddled with huge expenses paying for those who don't pay. When the same is proposed for health all of a sudden the republicans cry big government and put out all the scare tactics to keep people in fear. The only thing we have to fear is not reforming healthcare because the way it's going the average American citizen won't be able to afford it at all.

    June 12, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Andrew

    I'm sorry, but Obama care and romney care have stark differences. Secondly, had the republicans not been so obstructionistic, I think that the law would have been much more effective at curbing the cost of healthcare. I'm sure the republicans have decent ideas, but they seem to spend much more time and energy dishing out criticism than explaining their own ideas, pawleny is no exception. That is why none of the republican candidates will get my vote so far, because they don't seem to stand out as leaders. Believe it or not, but europeans follow american politics much better than a lot of Americans do. They like BO and just can't seem to understand why so many people don't like him. Sure he isn't perfect, but I don't see a better alternative yet.

    June 12, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. CCHUCK

    WHY shouldn't every American have healthcare? The GOP says it will cost jobs. Wouldn't this increase the workforce due to more people seeking healthcare? How about we put our elected officials the insurance the rest of us have or don't have. What makes our representatives so special they have the best healthcare money can buy? If Dick Cheney had the insurance we all have he would be dead now. Canada, England and so many other countries provide universal healthcare, WHY NOT US????

    June 12, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    The Republicans would rather institute their own plan: WeDontCare.

    June 12, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Conserberal

    Tim Pawlenty is bland in a bottle, and his solution to every problem seems to be "The government shouldn't fund that; you can find it on the internet." I'm not entirely sure he is aware how the internet came to be or how some of that information is gathered to arrive in cyberspace.

    June 12, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Indy

    Its Rombama Care not Obamaney Care, Pawlenty is not even good at making up names. If you are going after Romney you need to have his name first in your nick name. Politics 101 Timmy !!

    June 12, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. GOP = Greed Over People

    If that was an attempt at humor, no wondering you are looking for a new day job.

    June 12, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. DesMoiner

    Pawlenty is just another typical fascist repub that wants only the rich to enjoy the benefits that this country has to offer. If you're middle class or below and can't afford health insurance or have been eliminated by a "pre existing condition" you don't deserve health insurance in their eyes. Pawlenty is a rich, white guy that only cares about feathering his own bed and the beds of his rich friends.

    June 12, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. usindian

    Autocare can be mandated but health care cannot be? All autos should have an insurance – why?

    Greatest medical breakthroughs still happen in US due to the investments in science provide by some earlier visionary presidents. With people like Paw insisting on ideology we will not lead this any more. Actually this is the time to ratchet up the investment not wind it down. The current republican thinking will limit the status we have enjoyed as the brightest nation on earth.

    June 12, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. LJ

    Pawlenty's state is terrible at health care.

    Give me Obamacare any day. At least you can't be denied for something like preexisting conditions.

    June 12, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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