February 6th, 2012
02:04 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: Romney 'unqualified' and 'dead wrong' on healthcare

Rochester, Minnesota (CNN) - Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, hoping for some much needed momentum heading into the next round of primaries and caucuses, leveled some of his harshest criticisms yet at Mitt Romney over the issue of healthcare and the repeal of "Obamacare."

Speaking near the campus of the Mayo Clinic, Santorum said the former Massachusetts governor was "dead wrong" and "the worst possible person" to put up on what he called the "most fundamental issue" of the campaign.

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"I really don't find any legitimate reason why [Romney] would oppose [Obamacare], because the plan he put together in Massachusetts is in fact Obamacare on the state level," Santorum said during a strongly worded healthcare-centered speech, adding that Romney "should not be the nominee of our party."

He added that Romney's only argument against Obama's healthcare plan is that the issue should be a state issue instead of a federal one.

"It's a very weak argument to go and make to the American public," he said, adding that Romney is "uniquely unqualified and I would argue disqualified" from making the case against the nation's healthcare plan.

"[With] Romneycare and Obamacare the government controls everything," Santorum said with force. "Every aspect of the healthcare transaction is controlled by Massachusetts and by Washington. You show me the differentiation there on the most key issue in America today-your Economic freedom."

Romney's campaign responded to the criticism, saying Santorum's charges were false.

"Rick Santorum has had a history in this campaign of making false statements about Mitt Romney's record – this is just one more example," Romney campaign spokesman Amanda Henneberg said. "Mitt Romney will repeal Obamacare. Rick Santorum is hoping to get some momentum behind his campaign, but has unfortunately resorted to false and negative attacks."

Santorum stressed to the crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom that he's been working on healthcare reforms from a public policy perspective for over 20 years and said it all comes down to making sure Americans are given more freedom.

As he spoke, you could hear the Republican candidate was not in the best of health himself, and he told the audience that he caught a bug his young daughter Bella had.

"As you can see, I've got my own health care issues," he said, then apologized for the fact that he will be clearing his throat throughout the speech.

Also see:

Nevada runners up, Paul and Santorum vow to continue campaigns

Obama: Israel undecided on attack against Iran

Gingrich outlines a Southern revival strategy

Ohio newspaper endorses Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    Kep it up Rick. You don't stand a chance in you know where of winning the nomination but your attacks (as well as teh Newter) are bruising Mittens

    February 6, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The good natured Senator did clean Gov. Romney's clock on health care during the last debate in Florida. The argument can be easily made that Santorum not only won that debate, but has the most consistent debater among all of the remaining GOP contenders.

    February 6, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Dr Knowitall

    Anyone that thinks Government or Government mandate is the solution to any problem as Romney did on Healthcare is not qualified. We need a Congress and President that will roll the clock back on this hulking federal government. A simple flat tax rate and drasticly smaller federal government is the only way out of debt.

    February 6, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Dr Knowitall

    Anyone that thinks Government or Government mandate is the solution to any problem as Romney did on Healthcare is not qualified.
    --------–
    Government mandates that you go to the store, buy some clothes and wear them. Government mandates that you take responsible care of you kids. Government mandates a whole lot.

    This entire straw man argument over the personal mandate is coming from the insurance companies who would welcome all of the new business, just like they do with mandated auto insurance. The *real* problem insurance companies have with the ACA is that they do not like the mandates on the insurance carriers like; no pre-conditions, cannot drop people, cannot deny people, etc. But, coming out and complaining about that would be politically incorrect. So, they invented an altruistic sounded straw man argument over the personal mandate.

    February 6, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Dr – You do know that government is smaller under President Obama, than under the former occupant of the white house? Hoover also thought that the only way out of a depression was drastic cuts and no increase in revenue. That did not work out then, and will not get us out of the republican near depression.

    February 6, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. kat

    OK Rick, didn't you see what this type of campaigning did to Newt ? We the people are tired of our Republicans tearing each other down. Focus on your positives and stop putting ammunition in the hands of BHO. We MUST come together if we are to save our country.

    February 6, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    kat

    OK Rick, didn't you see what this type of campaigning did to Newt ? We the people are tired of our Republicans tearing each other down. Focus on your positives and stop putting ammunition in the hands of BHO. We MUST come together if we are to save our country.
    -------------–

    "Harumpf. Harumph. I didn't get a harumpf out of that guy" "Give the governer a harumph"

    February 6, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Windy City Al

    8,000 good American kids died in Iraq because of Republican lies. Now they're all (except Ron Paul) beating the drums against Iran. How can anyone want this party back in power?

    February 6, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney doesn't understand the economy, but neither does Santorum. Romney only saw the business side and doesn't understand fully the scope of the federal government. Santorum is so ideoliogically driven to say or be one thing, then it doesn't help what is going on.

    February 6, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Under Obama, our country has been saved from the destructive right wingnuts.

    February 6, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. unsub

    hit the showers rick! the game is over!

    February 6, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. kat my foot

    @kat: "we must keep together if we're to save our country"?
    Save "our" country from who? from crazy tea partyers or from Osama Bin Laden dead from the hands of an all-action-spine-of-steel President?
    Save "our" country from what? From 8.2% unemployment down from the 10.1% in October 2009 willed to us by Republicans? Or from a military that has returned home to their families after sacrificing everything in an ill-advised war in Iraq sanctioned by Republicans?
    I honestly think you people are stark raving mad when you pretend to not remeber how Republican policies nearly crippled this country and almost brought down the rest of the civilized world. You people are mad!
    Only crazy people like you seriously think the American people will throw out a President who has worked tirelessly to clean up a horrible mess with a fraud like Mitt Romney who will only return to the same terrible policies are even worse. Idiot!

    February 6, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    At least Mr. Frothy is correct on one part: Rmoney is completely unqualified to lead America.

    February 6, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. unsub

    @ kat my foot
    RIGHT ON!

    February 6, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |