Santorum blasts Gingrich over 'Romneycare'
March 10th, 2012
08:01 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum blasts Gingrich over 'Romneycare'

Springfield, Missouri (CNN) – It's a common aspect of Republican Rick Santorum's stump: attacking Mitt Romney for creating - and then "recommending" - "Romneycare" to President Barack Obama.

But Saturday, fresh off his projected win in the Kansas caucuses, Santorum added that GOP presidential rival Newt Gingrich is "honestly not a whole lot better."

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"For 20 years when I was pushing medical savings accounts, he was pushing a federal mandate for health insurance," Santorum said. "And when 'Romneycare' passed, he sent out a glowing statement talking about how this wonderful bill had just passed in Massachusetts."

Santorum argues that Obama, Gingrich and Romney all line up on the same side when it comes to their support for an individual mandate.

The campaign points to a 2006 newsletter Gingrich wrote for his consulting firm, the Center for Health Transformation, in which he praised Romney's Massachusetts health care reform.

"The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system," Gingrich wrote, according to the report.

Also in the newsletter, Gingrich expressed his support for the individual mandate in Massachusetts, but only for those making at least $54,000 a year. And while he commended Romney's effort in building the plan, he acknowledged the bill will likely face "tremendous scrutiny" from those who doubt the law will work.

Gingrich has since admitted he was "wrong" in supporting Romney's plan and has now become one of its major critics on the campaign trail.

"In retrospect we were wrong because what happens, once you go to a mandate, you have turned so much power over to the government that the politicians rather than the doctors end up defining health care," Gingrich told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in December. "So it was a mistake."

Santorum on Saturday attempted to draw the distinction that he is the only one who supports individual freedom.

"Why would the Republican Party - on the issue that won us the 2010 election - nominate either of them who are uniquely unqualified to make the case to the American public," Santorum said, adding that "they both were for top-down, government-run health care."

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Missouri • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Tam

    He doesn;t have to worry about coverage for himself or his family or pre-existing conditions. How Christian of hum to thiink of the rest of us!

    March 11, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  2. Ron

    "In retrospect we were wrong because what happens, once you go to a mandate, you have turned so much power over to the government that the politicians rather than the doctors end up defining health care," Gingrich told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in December. "So it was a mistake."
    ------------
    Hmmm. Isn't that exactly what republican politicians are trying to do with women's healthcare - where there is no mandate?? Better be careful, ladies. They will most likely put a woman on the Republican ticket in order to get you to overlook your heathcare issues! I wonder who that will be???

    March 11, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  3. Forrest

    Yeah, because our current Healthcare system is so wonderful and effective. If Santorum's idea is to maintain the status-quo, then he's alot worse than anything anyone else suggests.

    March 11, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  4. Lucky18

    Romney is probably paying Gingrich to stay in the race. He would have lost Michigan and Ohio, had it not been for Gingrich!

    March 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  5. Stephen

    If you're in favor of 'every man for himself, dog eat dog' health care, Santaliban is your man.

    March 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  6. anon-i-mouse

    Heaven forbid any candidate really cares if people have access to quality health care! Whether you love or hate the current health care law, until someone else comes up with a better solution to ensure access to everyone, it's the best we have! The current have/have not based on your wealth or being fortunate enough to have a job that offers it, it clearly not working.

    I'm very fortunate to have a good job with good benefits. However, I know several people who are self employed (1 person businesses) and simply can't afford it! How all the good "Christians" in this country can be filled with such hate and wish for people to not have access is beyond me.

    March 11, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  7. Squigman

    Each passing day confirms that this nation would be better off if the republican candidates, were to take a long walk, on a short pier. Infighting, back stabbing, attack adds, and what the country needs is of little consequence as long as personal gain is achieved. Makes me sick.

    March 11, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  8. Common Sense

    If the courts rule against Obama Care it won't be long before the Republicans go after Medicare.

    March 11, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I guess that Rick is not as much of a student of what the Republican Party stands for. Pressident Theodore Roosevelt (yes, a Republican named Roosevelt is almost as shocking as a Democrat named Taft) originally called for a federal health care program back in the early 1900s.

    March 11, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. GODZILLA1

    They are eating each other – love it, JUST LOVE IT!

    March 11, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  11. diridi

    what did you guys do for forty years for Health Care idiots....bribing from Insurance thugs?????Nasty idiots are supposed to be in Jails....esply in Guantanamo bay prisons with 9/11 guys....o.k,

    March 11, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. purnellmeagrejr

    As someone who was recently diagnosed with the most serious disease available I cringe every time one of these ideologues claim the first thing they will do once elected is "Repeal ObamaCare." I have been receivng wonderful Medical attention for my illnesss and am truly thankful to be able to entertain the posssibility I will be around to be father to my children for a while longer. People are bettter than ideology. THis election cycle I will b a one issue voter.

    March 11, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  13. dave oldread

    pushing heathcare savings acct.'s another word for a insurance company, and the rich taking your money so they (the corp.'s) don't have to give you heath coverage.

    March 11, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. honeybe

    He's the "only one who supports individual freedom"???? What a joke. There's only one candidate who actually does that – Ron Paul.

    March 11, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. king

    Since Obama care the health society have been hiring none stop. I have 2 of my sisters which now nurses. When the repubs comes out and cut health care, kicking 30 million folks out the door, my sisters will lose their jobs, along with many more. Keep Obama care and improve what people are complaining about.

    March 11, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. PuzzledInPeoria

    He's awfully nasty for being a Christian.

    March 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. Domenic

    "you have turned so much power over to the government that the politicians rather than the doctors end up defining health care," I Live in MA and that statement is a lie. Not a different perspective, not an exaggeration, but a flat out lie. He knows full well that this couldn't be farther from the truth. Other than the fact that you either buy medical insurance or pay a fine, there is absolutely no government involvement in my MA health care. And yet false statements like this will be taken as gospel by all the dimwitted right wingers. This is a perfect example of how we have so badly devalued truth in politics that we find ourselves in a place where an honest dialogue about important issues is now impossible because fact and falsehood have been placed on an equal footing in the public debate. This is why the debate over providing Americans with health care degenerated into a discussion of "death panels," which existed only in the (alleged) mind of one grand standing, self aggrandizing politician.

    March 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. p

    In this, the richest country on the planet, serious illness should not = financial ruin.

    March 11, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Ron

    Santorum seems to forget that Ron Paul is still technically in the race – so he's not the only candidate who opposes the insurance mandate.

    March 11, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. texino

    santorum is sick

    March 11, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. RB

    My sister had a heart attack at 41, my dad had one at 80, I have been fighting cancer at the same time as my two sister in laws, IF we were Amercian our families would be facing bankruptcy, however we are fortunate enough to be Canadian and instead of being worried about losing our homes and life savings we are being treated with the best of care, we have a good standard of living in Canada but we don't have to worry about getting sick and losing everything, maybe cut out the insurance companies (who's only interest is making money) and give everyone health care after all America has highest per capita cost of health care in the world and yet you have 50 million people without healthcare, and what I really don't understand with the Republicans is how can they say they are Christian and not want health care for everyone, did Jesus not help the sick and the poor??

    March 11, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. once upon a horse

    Santorum blast Gingrich, Gingrich blast Santorum in the meantime both Obama and Romney sit back and laugh at them both.

    March 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. alyarby

    Another sterling round from the Campaign News Network of Barack Obama. CNN depserately wants Santorum to be the GOP candidate, because they know he cannot win against Obama. Romney can. And will. But I can see from the vast majority of people who post here that they are in love with the "free stuff" that Obama stands for. It's just gimme gimme gimme, and "you have more stuff than I do and IT'S NOT FAIR" as usual. Yuch.

    March 11, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Donkey Party

    To "Truck It Up" # 9:29pm –

    Spend less time trying offering your nonsense about politics, spend more time learning punctuation, and what commas and periods are. I'm embarrassed for you (as I'm sure your parents are too).

    March 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. sensible

    Healthcare savings accounts will not work! How much do (can) you save? What if two or more people in your family are sick? What if you are $10,000.00 short? Do you just die? I think they had it right when they said "The republican plan for healthcare is to die quickly!"

    March 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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