Romney: If Obama had called me on health care …
April 12th, 2011
09:14 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney: If Obama had called me on health care …

Washington (CNN) - Likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinks President Barack Obama should have called him before implementing “Obamacare.”

“Why didn’t any one of them (Democrats) or the president ever call me and say what worked, what didn’t?,” Romney said Tuesday on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.” “Why didn’t he (Obama) pick up the phone?”

Romney said his message during such a phone call would have been: “What you’re putting in place at the nation is not only unconstitutional, it’s bad law, it will not work.”

Romney, who announced the formation of his presidential exploratory committee Monday, signed Massachusetts’ health care law - which has similarities to Obama's health care plan - five years ago.

Romney's plan and the current law include the individual mandate that requires all residents, with some exceptions, to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

But as he’s done before, the former governor admitted the Massachusetts plan “wasn’t perfect.”

“The nature of all experiments as it was is that you have things that worked well and things that didn't work well. And that's true of what we did in Massachusetts,” Romney said. “Look, let states experiment, find out what works and what doesn't. Take the things that are good and build on them.”

Yet the comparisons between the two plans will not stop him from campaigning on the law’s repeal or touting his three-step solution.

First, he said, he would direct Health and Human Services to “grant a waiver to each one of all the 50 states from ‘Obamacare,’” then “get a repeal in place” and subsequently craft new legislation that ensures people with pre-existing conditions aren’t refused insurance and that all people have “access to coverage.”

He also cast aside questions about the president’s birth certificate, an issue that real estate mogul Donald Trump has driven home in recent weeks.

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States,” Romney said. “The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn't the reason why.”

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. george

    Romney you are a lying imposter...I guess you think we Americans are all stupid....I think you have a huge problem when election time comes...

    April 13, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  2. lgny

    and subsequently craft new legislation that ensures people with pre-existing conditions aren’t refused insurance and that all people have “access to coverage.”

    That makes no sense without universal enrollment. If I can wait until I have diabetes before buying insurance, then the company will need to charge astronomical rates to avoid bankruptcy. He's just pandering to the "overaged teens" who scream "No I won't" when someone tells them to do something that's good for them.

    Romney has the opportunity to craft a sensible Republican alternative to ACA, but has chosen to tout the party line of "repeal and replace" with no specifics on the replacement.

    April 13, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  3. Martha in CF

    The now governor of Massachusetts, Governor Patrick, says the state health care system is working great.
    Obama would only have heard NO from Romney, after all he is a Republican.

    April 13, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. Total Truth

    that is a pointless counter Mitt. The President enlisted the help of the architect of your own Mittcare plan.

    April 13, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  5. LA, LA, LA

    Thank you Romney, I love the RomeyCare Law you signed into law.

    April 13, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  6. beevee

    Mr. Romney's fli-flopping on the healthcare issues reflects that he will not be a an efective president.

    April 13, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  7. annie s

    The oversimplification of health reform by all Republicans is laughable. Private insurers are profit driven. Just how will you entice them to cover pre existing conditions if you don't deliver new and healthier customers along with it? What about the other necessary provisions in the current bill? Wll Republicans still allow insurers to drop you when you get sick? Will they let insurers keep a lifetime cap on payments so that you risk maxing out your coverage in a catastrophic illness? And what will they do to make sure the self insured, or those over 50, or those with small businesses – not to mention those with limited incomes – will be able to find affordable coverage? Smoke and mirrors, gentlemen – you used fear and lies to turn the American public against true reform – if the current bill is flawed, fix it, don't destroy it.

    April 13, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Would you have picked up the phone if he had called, Mitt? Its pretty sad that you stood on the sidelines during the debate and did not offer anything that could be described as a constructive critique. NO one recalls you doing anything except slam it in order to shore up your conservative bona fides. Had you offered suggestions and made them public, it would have been seen as contributing to the process of solving a problem and you would have been seen as a LEADER, not an ambulance-chasing opportunist. But, like the rest of the GOP, you are more afraid of the red-state mouth breathers who celebrate nullification and secession who will brand you as a RINO, rather than stepping up to the plate and solving a problem. You, sir, are a political contortionist of the lowest order, and do not deserve the office you seek. Your resume may look good on the surface, but the details of your public employment are thin, sketchy, and don't hold up under a background check.

    April 13, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. living in america

    How come you couldn't reach out and call the President yourself and pay the .29 per minute long distance rate. Just go on and say that you implemented healthcare for your state as well.

    April 13, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    hey MIttens...why should he call you when all you do is critisize EVERYTHING he does and demand the plans' repeal. Does that mean you want to (or would) repeal your plan in MA? And just think of the public relations bonanza you and the rest of the righties would make of a call.from Obama....forget it. Go back to campaigning and worry about your own chances as your flip-flopping on abortion, gay rights, and your wives' contributions to "oh no" PLANNED PARENTHOOD are exposed even more to the zealots. They don't trust you to begin with since you don't belong to their religion but to a cult. You've got plenty to do without saying "gimme a call" Maybe if you become a birther your chances will rise, at least with the sheep

    April 13, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. diridi

    this guy is a total idiot...o.k, mandating taxes, and coercing to buy car insurance in democracy is bad, well, driving cars in any industrialized society is not a privilege, it is a necessity, then how come this idiot says, it is unconstitutional? did the constitution, or preamble explicitly say if government mandating citizen to buy health insurance for the good of the public, in good faith and preexisting conditions of patient and total denial by insurance thugs is inserted therein? I am questioning even to our supreme is under natural justice in jurisprudence who studied, know....only learned judiciary know the meaning of these things...lay man do not even understand....It is so unfortunate that every tom dick and harry who wear suit aspiring for POTUS. sad, sad, and sad....wake up America, do not even give chance to these not vote this idiot...Law in Health care is perfect...wait, till 2014 when real law kicks in, now donut hole coverage, elderly are happy, even I am who is aware of law,, perfectly happy, , only this way you win do not voe these idiotic thugs....../.God Bless!!!

    April 13, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. The Other Dale

    TThat's a numbskull take on the issue: "Doesn't Obama know that it's all about me?! How dare he deal with a national issue when certainly *I* could have fixed it for him?!" Obviosuly he's trying to distance himself from the similarities between what he did in his state and what has been agreed upon for the country, but it comes off more like A) whinning and B) making him out to be an egomaniac. Bad defense from Romney there.

    April 13, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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