Romney campaign touts Mass. health care law in response to pro-Obama ad
August 8th, 2012
04:29 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney campaign touts Mass. health care law in response to pro-Obama ad

(CNN) – A spokeswoman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign heralded the health care law Romney passed in Massachusetts, using the law to respond Wednesday to a super PAC ad that appears to blame the presumptive GOP nominee for the loss of insurance and eventual death of a laid off steel worker's wife.

"If people had been in Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care," Andrea Saul said on Fox News. "There are a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their health care in President Obama's economy."

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The mention of Romney's health care law is unusual for the Romney campaign, which largely avoids talking about the measure on the campaign trail unless asked directly about it by reporters.

Romney has repeatedly vowed to repeal the national health care law signed by President Barack Obama, saying its individual mandate to purchase health insurance violates the Constitution, and arguing the requirement for employers to provide health coverage is bad for small business.

Yet as voters learned during the blistering Republican primary process, Obama fashioned much of his law by borrowing heavily from the reform plan signed by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts six years ago. The centerpiece of the Massachusetts plan is its own individual mandate.

Romney has said on numerous occasions his plan was meant for Massachusetts only.

"Our plan was a state solution to a state problem, and his plan is a power grab by the federal government to put a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation," Romney said in a speech in the weeks before he jumped into the race last year.

Conservative reaction to Saul's comments was quick.

CNN contributor and editor Erick Erikson wrote on Twitter:

Rush Limbaugh was equally incised, saying on his radio show that Saul's comment "was a potential gold mine for Obama supporters."

The spot that Saul was responding to was released Tuesday by the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, though the ad itself has not yet run in a paid-commercial slot. In it, Romney is linked to the death of a former GST Steel worker's wife after the employee lost his job when the plant closed down.

Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, acquired GST Steel in 1993, but the company went bankrupt in 2001, two years after Romney ceased day-to-day oversight of Bain.

A closer look by CNN poked holes into the ad's timeline.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney
soundoff (46 Responses)

    Uh oh. I'm eagerly anticipating the Romney camp to walk back this comment. Mwahahahahahhahahahahah. Can't wait!

    August 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Does Mittens also think that civil rights are up to individual states, military should be left to states, social security and medicare left to individual states, car safety regulations are left to an individual states, air travel regulations are left to individual states, etc.?

    August 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. JoanMS

    Is Romney a lunatic?!? Now, he wants to talk about healthcare??

    August 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. bluedogboy

    No need to explain yourself now Mitt.

    Wait until the debates when Obamacare is brought up and the president thanks you.

    August 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. BinaryTooth

    Who cares about Romney? Romney care is bad but Obamacare is great!

    Bend forward for Obama!

    Obama 2012

    August 8, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. cali girl

    What a really moronic thing to say. If we all lived in MA we would never be denied coverage?
    Okay everyone, pack your bags and get ready to inundate the state of Massachusetts.

    August 8, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Billy, NYC

    OMG, Romney needs a REAL heavy weight campaign management team to work for him. Saul just made a BIG mistake by putting Romney Care side by side with Obama Care. They look the same to me. Why did she open the door for Dem to attack? Oop, is she secretly a democrat, a liberal?

    August 8, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    Willard, you like to fire people who provide bad services to you right? Well you need to get rid off Ms. "Stick Her Foot In Her Mouth" Saul.

    August 8, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    You have to laugh at Willard's advisors. What a mess they are – and they really want to run/ruin this country?

    Not a chance in _____ would I give them that opportunity.

    Obama 2012 ALL the way.

    August 8, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Ben

    God bless Rombamacare!

    August 8, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. DB in AR

    I'm Glad to see the 2004 MA governer is now out of witness protection. I wonder how long he will be out before he is muzzled and stuffed back in the closet by Romney 2012 handlers.

    August 8, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Bill

    His campaign is unraveling in front of our eyes. They can do or say nothing correct (including the secretive candidate himslef). He really needs new advisors, but at this point, they are in a downwartd spiral. Obama wil stretch his national lead to 9 or 10 points by October easy.

    August 8, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Ben

    More than anything, I just find the question of the inner workings of Romney's brain fascinating.

    "My greatest accomplishment as President was to undo my greatest accomplishment as Governor."

    There has to be some kind of mental disorder going on there.

    August 8, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. David

    I guess he was for it before he was against it before he was for it.

    August 8, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Mark



    With friends like Saul....who needs enemies? Maybe she will release Mitt's taxes as well! Come it!!!!

    August 8, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. California Gary

    Let me see if I have this right........Romneycare is good........Obamacare was based primarily on Romneycare, but Obamacare is bad. Romneycare saves lives........Obamacare will destroy the country.......but Romneycare and Obamacare are basically one and the same. I have the solution......lets start calling the Affordable Care Act Romneycare instead of Obamacare........then it will be "good". Problem solved......what's next?

    August 8, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. CrisMN

    So that's what the Affordable Care Act (similar to Romneycare) would do for us... protect us if we lose our jobs... Interesting!

    August 8, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Doug in NYC

    Willard RobMeHood I was for it, then against it when the President used it as a model, now I'm for it again because the President is using my RobMe experience at Bain against me. Even my own campaign manager siad it was a good plan and everyone should move to Mass so they can be covered.


    August 8, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Dave Jaipersaud

    But yet he wants to repeal the same law that he is touting that would protect Americans in other States. Am I misreading this or is he just plain dumb. He wants to repeal the same law that would protect Americans from the devastation that his (Romney's) policies (like tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, gut the income of middle-class and poor Americans, gut social security, Medicaid & Medicare, gut education, gut infrastructure, gut agriculture), would wreak on the American people if he is elected.

    August 8, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Has Mittens "RETROACTIVELY RETIRED" as the GOVERNOR of MA back to before he signed ROMNEYCARE???

    Who is pulling this clown's strings??

    Robme spends millions running away from MA health care and now he says what all Obamacare supporters know?

    I hope the Mormon moron loses, but even I am scratching my head at Team Robme!!

    Of course, they could have judged this to be a good time to swing back to being a "moderate".

    August 8, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. BigTBone

    I can totally understand why millionaires would support Mittens and the GOP.

    But for those of us grinding it out in the trenches every day, happy in our endeavors yet hopeful for an even better America, there is no way that Mitt can even come close to identifying with the issues we continually face as regular folks.

    Repealing Romneycare on day one isn't exactly the promise people are looking for.

    August 8, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. democrat unemployment death march

    Good point.... How many people has Obama and the Democrats killed with their failed policies over the last 4 years? Keeping a record number of people unemployed for a record length of time while draining all their financial resources and savings and 401Ks. And what would the body count be if they get another 4 years like the last 4 years??? Unbelieveable carnage.

    August 8, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Why is a lot people are blaming President Obama for the state of the economy. If congress had passed some of the jobs bills, closeing tax loop holes for business that headquarter over seas. Giving US company tax breaks the keep job in America. The highway bills. They need to take a 20% pay cut congress haven't done anything since President been in office but whinn whinn with talking points saying the same old thing. congress have to many days off. Congress shoulh only get paid when they at work, what about 150 days a year

    August 8, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. snoozie

    I feel bad for Romney's campaign staff. Can you imagine having to keep track of all the flip-flopping back and forths of the stuff he says he is for, then against, then for, and the niggly reasons he comes up with for the differences? Certainly would not be a job I'd want. There is no way they can pin a tail on that donkey. Hope at least he pays them well.

    August 8, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. snoozie

    I feel bad for Romney's campaign staff. Can you imagine having to keep track of all the flip-flopping back and forths of the stuff he says he is for, then against, then for, and the nit picky reasons he comes up with for the differences? Certainly would not be a job I'd want. There is no way they can pin a tail on that donkey. Hope at least he pays them well.

    August 8, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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