June 7th, 2012
06:53 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney adviser rebuts Clinton

(CNN) - Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday rebutted criticism by former President Bill Clinton of Romney's business record, and pushed back against Clinton's praise of the health care reform law Romney signed as governor.

In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," Fehrnstrom was asked about remarks Clinton made last week when he called Romney's business record "sterling." The former president later refined his praise.

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"I can tell you that Governor Romney was proud of his business record, and by the way, so was Bill Clinton," he said. "Governor Romney wants to do what he can to promote a friendly business environment conducive to economic expansion and job growth."

A few days later, Clinton had a decidedly less positive appraisal of the Republican candidate. He said at an Obama fundraiser on Monday that a Romney presidency would be "calamitous for our country and the world."

Fehrnstrom said Clinton's original comment was "speaking from the heart," and that Clinton faced political pressure to refine his comments.

"At the end of the day Bill Clinton's a good Democrat, and he's endorsed the president and he'll be with the president," he said.

Clinton and others are expressing "unhappiness with the president's re-election strategy of attacking Bain Capital and attacking risk taking and profit and free enterprise," he said.

In an earlier interview on "The Situation Room," the former president said Romney's signing of a health care law in Massachusetts was "the best thing he did while governor."

Romney has insisted the law is different from the 2010 measure signed by President Barack Obama, while Democrats and Republican critics of Romney have characterized the two as similar.

"Well, Wolf, what we did - or what Governor Romney did in Massachusetts - represented a state solution to a state problem," Fehrnstrom said, echoing Romney's own comments on the subject. "Under our federalist system we encourage states to experiment, to come up with solutions to the unique problems that they face."

"What President Obama did by imposing a one-size-fits-all health care solution out of Washington on the entire country was wrong, and that's why Governor Romney has pledged from day one on his administration - if elected - to repeal Obamacare."

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Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    "Governor Romney wants to do what he can to promote a friendly business environment conducive to economic expansion and job growth."

    I love that line from the movie, " China Town " , How much more money do you need , 'How much more money can you spend ?

    Romney / GW Bush
    Will go all the way next time 2012 ?

    June 7, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    "What President Obama did by imposing a one-size-fits-all health care solution out of Washington on the entire country was wrong, and that's why Governor Romney has pledged from day one on his administration – if elected – to repeal Obamacare."
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Not to mention the fact that ObamaCare totally misses every opportunity to cut costs or improve the quality of care and just shortly out of the gate it has already doubled in cost. It was wrong on many different levels. It was not about healthcare. It was about politics and what the Democrats thought would be a sure win for Obama turned out to be a sure loss for Americans. And yes, this absolutely is a job for state governments, not the federal government.

    Any suggestion that Republicans don't want universal health care coverage makes absolutely no sense considering the accomplishments of Mitt Romney. It will get done but in a much better way than ObamaCare. That will not be difficult.

    June 7, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. Tony

    The one-size-fit-all model has a waiver. Any state that comes up with a system that covers the same number of people can opt out. Massachusetts does not need to opt out because it has the same system. When uninsured can opt out, but they are guaranteed free emergency care under the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, the insured would need to pay more to cover the uninsured. This is the reason for the individual mandate: when there is a larger pool, everyone in the pool pays less. Republicans understood this when they came up with the idea of individual mandate in the 1990s. It is sad that they would disown their own idea just to oppose Obama.

    June 7, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. enuff

    How the heck would any of them know if Clinton was speaking from the heart unless they have been Clinton themselves?

    June 7, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney is a wolf in sheep's clothing; a true vulture capitalist. He is good for investors but bad for the American middle class.

    June 7, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Sydnium S. Washington

    And that won't help Obama win it.

    June 7, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. n

    Romney What have u done for common Americans nothing. While president Clinton did a lot for the common Americans. So stop barking like a dog . U will never be good for American u are only good for rich Americans.

    June 7, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Do these idiots know it is a slip of a tongue, president Clinton said sorry. You can not compare this idiot to president. Mitt is disgrace.

    June 7, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. MattL

    I still don't understand why people's health coverage and health care would be different per state. That's like saying civil rights should be different per state, in some states it's ok to discriminate against ethnicity but others it isn't. Something as universally applicable as health care and coverage should in fact be equally universal.

    June 7, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Pete

    But Romney will have to answer questions regarding himself as governor giving startup monies from the Massachusetts budget to these corporations who also unfortunitly went bankrupt .That's not approved as federal budgets are,tax payers having to pay higher fees,taxes to make up the shortfall.He tried being mister CEO and failed,like in borrowing monies not from TARP,but from the FDIC for his failing Bain ,he never to this day ever repaid it back,it also being without collateral for acceptance,loan wise,so taxpayers are again left holding the empty money bag,that's your corporate wizz Romney.If someone like myself,john Q citizen can get info on your favorite Mormon,what do ya think Pres.Obamas gonna dump on him in the debates,ya gotta watch,it'll be real interesting to say the least..No hiding or lying from Romney this time,he's out in the open for all America to see what he's really like!!!

    June 7, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. luke,az

    Gov. Robme is not a leader. He is a puppet of the 1%. Corporations are taking over America. Arizona's top corporate ceo from Freeport-McMoran, Richard Adkerson, made $82,000,000 in 2011. I thought we were in a recession.

    June 7, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  12. Roy

    Ask Romney if he is willing to donate all of his $200 to $300 million to help to pay off USA debt but he can keep his $10 million so in that way we can see if he truly cares about our country.

    June 8, 2012 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    He told the truth about Etch A Sketch Mitt McCain. A slip.

    June 8, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  14. FedUp

    Billy Jeff actually spoke the truth, for probably the 1st time in his life. Too bad he doesn't have the backbone to stick with it. That must be why Hillary wears the pants in the family.

    June 8, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |