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. vic , nashville ,tn

    Four and The door
    Thanks for the analysis

    If you look at the basics of health care reform from Bill Clinton to Romney to Obama are same real difference between these health care bills is number of pages written

    Talking about the cost when republicans or democrats introducing the bills or reforms they look for vocabulary never look at the numbers

    June 12, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. MM

    Do not oppose someone else's plan unless you have one of your own. Lead, follow or get the heck out of the way!

    June 12, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. James

    I still say, if we're all foolish enough to keep grazing in the 2 party sheep herder system, that we need to force them to alternate terms. Nothing ever gets done, or at least done right, because neither side can agree on anything and compromise is a game they play very poorly on both sides. Let each side be in complete control for 8 years. At the end of 16 years, the party who did the worst job is disbanded. Then we can finally end this idiotic partisan debate and stop pretending either side is doing a good job or really cares about us. Oh, and Pawlenty is even worse than Romney, and I'd rather have McCain and Palin than either of them.

    June 12, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Yonni

    Only idiot use a made up word like "Obamneycare". Is he aiming to cruise to the white house by coining a word like this or he has an idea of his own.

    June 12, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. none of you're business

    The more, I read his bio. the less I support. read and take time to sort out the trash. Or we will get another owned idiot!!

    June 12, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. DancingInPDX

    Always great to see attacks when devoid of viable alternative solutions. You can't buy a house without homeowners insurance and you can' buy a car with auto insurance. But it's okay for taxpayers to pay for hospital visits for those that don't have, but can afford health insurance? Regardless, the core problem is the cost of healthcare, which in this country is 3 times higher than all other industrialized nations as a function of GDP. The healthcare industry will charge whatever they damn well please until they are regulated, no differently than the oil industry or the banks. So what's your *solution* Timmy? Shut up until you have a clear and unambiguous SOLUTION!

    June 12, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. realist

    He can swing all he wants. He is a big whifffffff in my book.

    June 12, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. jrm03063

    Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan – Countries that deliver health care to all their citizens at little or no cost

    United States Republicans – defeatists who can't, or won't do what other modern nations will. Instead, think it's cheaper to let those without means suffer and die.

    When did it become patriotic to be a defeatist loser?

    June 12, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Eric

    Keep on it, once it's clear that Obamacare is working to decrease health care expense, Republican voters will feel foolish. Many will get refunds from their current health insurance plan based on his years medical loss ratio. For some it could mean thousands of dollars.

    June 12, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Christian

    I see no problem with mandates! I must pay taxes for education even though I have no children. I must pay for permission to drive. And most of all I pay federal taxes for mostly programs I do not agree with.
    Why not health care. I am tired of paying for emergency services for people (30 somethings) who claim to not need health insurance.

    June 12, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. realist

    consider this... Pawlenty is form MN... the state that elected Jesse Ventura. So we know what intelligent choices they make.

    June 12, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Anthony

    Four and the Door,

    First of all, it is Romney who is trying to run away from RomneyCare. There is nothing wrong with RomneyCare. Most Massachusetts residents love it. Obama does not need to run away from health care reform. It is Republicans who are running away from it, not that they could because they came up with the idea behind both Romney's and Obama's health care plans. Second, people who refuse to buy insurance drive up the costs for everyone else. This is why good drivers are required to buy auto insurance. Otherwise, the price of auto insurance for bad drivers would go through the roof. Third, no plan from Republicans would contain the rising medical costs either. Ryan's plan for Medicare contains the exposure of the federal government to rising health insurance costs, because the government would pay a voucher that goes toward paying for private insurance, but it does not contain the costs themselves. The extra costs that vouchers won't cover get shifted to seniors. Fourth, the Ryan plan relies on the same cuts Obama proposed for Medicare. The difference is that under Obama's plan there is still a Medicare, which guarantees care. Under RyanCare, all that is guaranteed is a voucher. As for your argument that Massachusetts could afford RomneyCare, since when is medical care for seniors a luxury we can afford only when the economy is good? Try to explain that to seniors that they are now expendable because the economy has tanked.

    June 12, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Please Use Your Brains

    Pawlenty like other Republicans are good at criticizing but the problem is they have no answers. They openly admit they will do nothing to make the lives of Americans better, accept make sure we can have guns, and make sure corporations are free to swindle and gauge us on every level.

    June 12, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Curly

    He left us with a 6.2 BILLION dollar deficit in MN and he wants to talk about others?? Shame on him. Our state is in the midst of a possible shut down because of him. Get smart America!

    June 12, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Matt

    Whatever. We're all duped into believing any of this matters. The rich one, and GOP sap voters helped them. I'm over it. There are two Americas. One where we're poor and one where we're rich. Over it.

    June 12, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. CSM

    Anyone else sick of hearing the name of ANY politician with the name "care" on the end? It's old... and the moment I hear it, I stop listening.

    June 12, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. afhcpoobah

    Think outside the box WE can't afford any of these "jokers in the box" being our next PRESIDENT !!!!!! We need a leader with the guts to take on the "status quo", head on,guns blazing!!!! DO what is right for the people of this country,FULL steam ahead!!!! NO more patience, we've waited long enough!!!!!TIME for OBAMA and his crew to go away too!!!!

    June 12, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. DC from NJ

    To "The Elephant in the Room": I agree with everything you said except that "you can't win by ....insulting the public's intelligence". You have to remember that the "public" gave us 8 years of George Bush, a significant minority continues to believe that Sarah Palin has something of value to contribute, many people for several years were convinced that Obama was not born in the US, and several of the last batch of Republican presidential candidates publicly admitted that they don't believe in evolution (and were not laughed off the stage in response). The fact of the matter is that there is a depressingly large number of voters in this country who have strong beliefs about things they know nothing about and, what's worse, they're not interested to learn about them!

    June 12, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. cecilia

    interesting to hear so many "intelligent" republicans who are unable to call healthcare reform anything other than Obamacare – that is not a word- it is a slur

    June 12, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Jason

    Pawlenty is just as insane as Bachmann and Palin so it's best to do whatever he opposes.

    June 12, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Joe

    Can this guy get any more boring? Obamneycare? That's it? That's the best he can do? Is he fourteen years old, or does he think the rest of the country is?

    June 12, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. easynan

    And this is from the man even Republicans admit destroyed Minnesota. And for you that are not admitting Obama's healthcare has helped a lot of Americans, try going into the library of Congress and actually read the bill unstead of listening to the GOP's lying about it. Yes, The GOP are against it because it takes some of the power away from the insurance companies that fill their coffers. Notice the Republicans are not only going after unions that support the working class but Social Security, Medicare, and womens health like cancer screening but also Don't ask, don't tell. Who is going to pay for the raising of all these unwanted babies the Republicans are forcing the poor to bring into this world to live on the streets or in shelters. How many of these unwanted babies are being abused or quietly murdered. There is a bill sitting in Congress right now that could get the American people back to work, but the Republicans are holding that up. The last thing they care about is the working people, that is until they realize without work there is no one to pay the wealthy.

    June 12, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Lou Cioccio

    Funny people are up in arms about having to buy health insurance but they say nothing that the states or at least my state is required to have AUTO insurance but I don't have to wear a helmet when I drive my motor cycle. Get real you need insurance to drive your car, fire and disaster insurance for you home and even if you are a renter you'd better have insurance when some one robs or your apartment catches fire.
    What Pawlenty should be asking is WHY those darn digital converters were made in China when they could have been built in the USA. Just goes to show smoke and mirrors does not matter to those RepubliCrats.

    June 12, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. apple and oranges

    for those saying a mandate to have car insurance is the same as health insurance don't get it

    you don't have to drive, if you live in a big city, imagine being forced to buy car insurance when you don't even own a car. There is still an option. Health insurance for everyone, there is no option.

    June 12, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. nbgb

    Where did thy find all the clowns for the circus? This country was designed "by the people, for the people" not for the big corporations, wall street fat cats or other rich predators. The money (taxes) paid in by the average American should be used for the good of all the people and not for the excesses of a few and all should contribute, that's right ALL as in corporations.

    June 12, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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