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."

Also see:

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Jobs, energy dominate weekly addresses

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Gingrich calls for Panetta resignation


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

    Health care seems to work for us Canadians. Did anyone catch the lie by Santorum,that in 2010 the republicans "ran on reapealing Healthcare".I remember it being "jobs."Twisted rhetoric.

    March 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. GI Joe.

    The republicans want to probe women to death - that's government tyranny.

    March 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. sensible

    @alyarby.....hey STUPID, healthcare is NOT FREE! I'm paying the premiums, not you! Just ANOTHER LIE by the (not)right-wingers!

    March 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. diridi

    fact is Romney is easily defeated with Obama. Corporations are also people my friend, bain capital, vulture capitalist, private equity capital....o.k,

    March 11, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. GI Joe.

    Don't ever even say that Medicare is free - I paid into it for years, I now pay a monthly premium (a little over $99) plus a medicare supplement. Then there is the drug program (mandatory) that costs more than $40 and on top of that a fee for each med. I take 1 medication so I'm paying more in drug premiums than the medication would cost. Don't even start on Social Security - it will take another 10 years for me to get out what was paid in (and I don't think I will live that long)

    March 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Punisher2000

    We have it simple in Canada: We all pay into the system either on payroll deductions or at the tax return time. We get basic coverage free. If we want more coverage, we buy private insurance for the things we want covered. It`s not perfect, but up here everybody is covered. You, Americans have more people on the poverty line and more people with no medical coverage that we have population. You don`t have to re-invent the wheel every time you want to give people a health care system. Some of you will think we Canadians are a bunch of Ruskie pinko commies. We are not.

    March 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Ozzie

    Ricky always sounds like a spoiled brat. He just seems to hate way too many people for him to serve as President.

    March 11, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. sensible

    @knowndoyen
    You talk of the difference between a 70 page state healthcare plan and a 2700 page federal healthcare plan......what is 70 x50? Right....it is 3500! Looks like President Obama(actually congress) got it done with 800 pages to spare!

    March 11, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. sensible

    Rick, Newt, AND Mitt are four-letter words!!!

    March 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. tedt

    Thanks punisher 2000 sometimes we americans get lost and have to follow republican liars like lost sheep. You canadians can help set the record straight when it comes to gov.healthcare. republicans get a lot of behind the back payoffs from healthcare industry and pharmacy companies.that's why they hate anything that helps working americans. If it looks or sounds like its going to help average americans they are totally against it. Vote straight democrat locally and nationally

    March 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. 4merRepubCT

    "the politicians rather than the doctors end up defining health care"

    This is exactly what the Republican membership of Congress & Republican-led states are doing right now to women. Mandating unnecessary medical procedures, telling doctors they can't prescribe hormone therapy treatment if it's also a contraceptive, cutting funding to programs that provide gynecological care to thousands of women across the country. If this is the direction Republican politicians want to take us in, then they are definitely making what Gingrich classifies as "a mistake."

    March 11, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. sensible

    How will people be able to save when the reptili[con]s destroy all the unions and the best paying jobs will be a McDonald's? How much health coverage will that buy? Just say it.....they want the poor to DIE!

    March 11, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. GI Joe.

    All of these republicans keep repeating the same lies over and over.

    It's really boring at this point.

    March 11, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Peter

    It's always funny to hear Republicans complain about government intrusion in our lives. These are the same people who want to tell us what we can and cannot do in our bedrooms. And PLEASE can this dumb talk about the government and not doctors deciding on care? The new Healthcare law is designed to address exactly the fact that insurance company bureaucrats and not doctors decide on care. Are Republicans dumb or do they think the rest of us are?

    March 11, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Ron B

    Rick Santorum = The Pope personal choice for president

    March 11, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh how wonderful. Ricky, fresh off a win, goes out to show how stupid he is... I'm sure those who voted for him in KS are thrilled that he feels it necessary to go into unbridled and unneeded attack mode every time claims some sort of victory. What a gracious winner...

    So tell me, Ricky... How much did Jesus charge for healing the sick?

    March 11, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Allen

    If the insane media would STOP reporting on every comment these clowns make as "blasting" this guy, or "attacking" that guy, or "slamming" the third guy, then these idiotic clown candidates would STOP doing it...and we could get to actual intelligent, fact-based debates about the issues. The media is FEEDING this crap for self-serving, infotainment purposes. The coverage in almost ALL venues has fallen to the level of cheap, People-Magazine-style, reality attack articles. I weep for the country and PRAY TO G-D that the NY Times will continue as the last bastion of actual fact-based, intelligent media coverage.

    March 11, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Emmy Skaddittle

    Romneycare is a great success in MA. If we could only have a government run healthcare system like everyone else, we would be in a much better state. Insurance companies are just a racket to steal our money and give us a little care as possible

    March 11, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Emmy Skaddittle

    You know what i find to be the stupidest argument in this whole debate about ObamaCares? How many pages are in a law! have you ever seen laws coming out of congress? they are not small. of course there are going to be more pages then romneys plan, that is for 1 state! ObamaCares is for the whole damn country!

    March 11, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Leigh

    Rick, there are worst things in this country than individual mandates for health care coverage. Liiiiike, refusing women basic health care because of YOUR extremist religious beliefs. For you, women are the property of their menfolk. Been there, done there, Ricky.

    NEVER AGAIN. Go back to the 14th century and take all your nutty religious brethren with you.

    March 11, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. batjones

    The reason Rick Santorum has been pushing medical savings accounts is because he serves on the board of directors of Universal Health Services, a publicly traded health management organization. Yes, Mr. Santorum is in the business of profiting off of people's healthcare. I wonder what healthcare costs has Mr. Santorum been cutting at UHS that afford him to earn $300,000 a year in stock option?

    March 11, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. sensible

    @Punisher2000
    I think you Canadians have a lot of sense!

    March 11, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Ron B

    A vote for Santorum is a vote for the pope to run america.....

    March 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. ourjungle

    Santorum....bringing in the sheep is one thing,fixing a broken economy is another. Our Nation needs a President,and a Congress that can,and will fix the broken Economy. We do not need (not at this time) a President to fix our Salvation.

    March 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    @sensible: "Rick, Newt, AND Mitt are four-letter words!!!"

    So is "Paul."

    March 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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