November 11th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party leader says health care could hurt any Romney bid in '12

Washington (CNN) - The head of one of the best known national Tea Party groups predicts that a potential White House bid by Mitt Romney could face pushback from Tea Party activists because of the health care plan implemented in Massachusetts during Romney's term as the state's governor.

Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer, asked during an interview by David Brody on CBN's "The Brody File" if the Massachusetts health care situation will fly with Tea Party activists, responded by saying "Absolutely not. You can't get away from that."

"These people don't have short memories. They're digging up everything from the past and they're not going to let go of the health care," added Kremer.

Tea Party Express is best know for its four well-publicized cross country bus tours and for its role in helping to oust some top Republican Senate incumbents, such as Bob Bennett of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, during the GOP primary process. Murkowski went on to run for her seat as a write-in candidate in the general election. The group's support also helped Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware win Republican Senate nominations.

Romney, who made a bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, is considering another run for the White House.

"The Massachusetts health care law came up in the 2008 campaign, and if Mitt Romney decides to run again, I'm sure it will be discussed again," said Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, in a statement to CNN. "Everyone who runs for president is going to have to discuss their record, whatever it is."

This spring, around the time of the passage into law of President Barack Obama's health care proposals, some of Romney's possible 2012 opponents described what they called the similarities between the health care reforms passed by Democrats in Congress and the Massachusetts model passed while Romney was governor of the Bay State.

At the time, Minnesota Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said, "Looking at the Massachusetts experience, it would not be one I would want for the country to follow any further."

Fehrnstrom responded to Pawlenty's comments by saying that "while there are some similarities between the two plans, the differences are far more profound."

According to CNN national exit polls from the midterm elections, the vast majority of people who voted for the Republican candidate in their congressional district said the new health care law should be repealed.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. What is the country coming to

    Who is the hell is th Tea Party......they really think that they have POWER, but they have none. The Rep just merge with
    them to take the who is fooling who ?

    November 11, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Wes B.

    Mitt could be such a strong general election contender. But Sarah will dominate the early primaries/caucuses.

    2012 will be the most entertaining prez. election ever! mean this is more than entertainment?

    November 11, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. kat

    I think Romney would have a good chance of being elected in 2012, despite the healthcare problems. You people need to get off criticizing people for being "rich". If you all spent as much time working as you spend criticizing people who worked hard and made something of themselves maybe you would be "rich" too. Living off the taxpayers only makes politicians "rich". Get a life... Get a JOB.

    November 11, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Tea PartyL

    Healthcare is BAD
    War is GOOD

    nice to see you have your priorities straight you right wing sociopaths....

    November 11, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Dad of a Diabetic

    Every Tea Party member should visit a children's diabetic center and a children's cancer center, and look at those sick children, and then ask themself if he/she really wants to make those sick children uninsurable for the rest of their lives again. John Kennedy asked conservatives, who were content to live with race segregation, how content they would be if the color of their skin was changed. President Obama needs to ask conservatives who are content to have a health insurance system that denies cancer and diabetes stricken children and young adults health insurance, for the rest of that child's life, how content they would be to deny sick children health insurance if they had a child with cancer or diabetes who was uninsurable to the health insurance industry!!! My message to the Tea Party is that the Rich Man in the Bible was wrong to deny Lazarus the food and health care that he needed. Tea Party members may believe that the Rich Man was right to deny Lazarus health care, because they have the philosophy of " I will buy my health insurance and Lazarus can buy his", but they are wrong. President Obama you need to start verbally protecting sick children from these Tea Party members!!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Rose

    The failure of the Massachusetts healthcare plan Romney put in place is a perfect example of why Obamacare has to be repealed. If you have family and friends in Mass, as I do, you would be wringing your hands and praying for the safety of their health. They're waiting months on end for a doctor's appt and then when they have to have blood work done or CAT scans, etc. they have to wait several more months before they get another appt w/the doctor to find out the results. It's like one big HMO, in the city where my family lives theres one main clinic where they go and wait all day to see a physician's assistance and if you insist on seeing an actual M.D. you have to make another appt. Oh by the way, the system is already bankrupt. This is what is going to happen tothe entire U.S.medical system if we don't fight it now.

    November 11, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. rs

    Yeah. Heaven forbid a Republican (any Republican!) does something good for anyone but the ultra-rich. Why, ensuring common people get affordable heath care- what's next?

    November 11, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Bill Carson

    The gulf oil spill lawsuits combined with the ongoing Massachusetts oil spill lawsuits will hurt Mitt Romney in 2012 .

    Mitt Romney was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from Jan 2,2003 to Jan 4,2007. During his one term the Buzzards Bay oil spill happened during April 2003 .

    On April 27, 2003, eight years ago the Bouchard Barge B-120 hit an obstacle in Buzzards Bay, creating a 12-foot rupture in its hull and discharging an estimated 100,000 gallons of No. 6 oil. The oil is known to have affected an estimated 90 miles of shoreline, killed 450 numerous bird species, and recreational use of the bay, such as shell fishing and boating.

    Since the 2003 oil spill the US Coast Guard has appealed the 2004 Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act and one Massachusetts property damage lawsuit has dragged on for eight years. Republican Mitt Romney is laying the groundwork for a possible White House campaign in 2012, hiring a team of staff members and consultants.

    November 11, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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