Romney clarifies Medicaid comments
December 16th, 2011
03:09 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney clarifies Medicaid comments

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney quickly clarified comments he made regarding Medicaid Friday, saying he had in fact been familiar with the entitlement program in the early 1990s.

At a town hall in Sioux City, Romney told an audience he had once been unclear about the particulars of the program.

"You wonder what Medicaid is, those that are not in all this government stuff," he said. "I have to admit I didn't know all the differences between these things before I got into government. And then I got into it and understood that Medicaid is the health care program for the poor, by and large."

Romney first ran for Senate in 1994.

Later, on a campaign charter to South Carolina, Romney clarified to the press he had been exaggerating. He said even before he ran in 1994 he had worked with health care companies and was familiar with the industry.

"He didn't know the particulars and the ins and outs," said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. He knew the difference [between Medicare and Medicaid]."

Medicare is the health care assistance program for the elderly, while Medicaid is designed to help people with low incomes.

The Democratic National Committee sent around Romney's original comments and said the former governor was out of touch.

During his Iowa remarks, Romney told the audience he was concerned about the poor.

"I want to make sure we have safety net," he said, adding: "I'm not terribly concerned about the rich. The rich are doing fine."

Filed under: 2012 • Medicaid • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    Truth and Big Butt as Brain – love your fake numbers. Must have watched the mid-day fox & fiends show?
    President Obama will be even more effective at continuing to reverse the Regressive Party's misdeeds over the past many years. I guess you'll have to go to Somalia or Chechnya where they have your brand of non-government and brainless bullies rule.
    Where can we donate?

    December 16, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    "Yes, that was about 10% of the people I believe."

    You "believe"? Excuse the rest of us while you get some actual facts before spouting off.

    December 16, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. al in memphis

    I guess that new health care law automatically increase health care cost. Infact, health care cost were decreasing until that new law was past. Let see, what other mindless statement can I make and still get elected. Oh yeah, Obama going to make us pay health care cost for everybody that lives in the Middle East.
    Now I'm the front runner in Iowa.

    December 16, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Justaminit

    Is there a Romney comment that he hasn't clarified? Does this guy have any beliefs that last? Is there any limit to the groveling that he will do to win the nomination?

    December 16, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. diversities

    Romney is familiar in helping the poor, the needy and the disabled but he he daesnt support lifestyle to qualify for medicaid. He encourages everyone to have a job for a living that every child should have a father and mother. whats wrong ? this is what he knew until he was 40? I bet he is most familiar with the welfare system by now. Vote for Mitt 2012

    December 16, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. NVa Native

    Hey Truthy Nothing But Butt ~ The real problem with 17% of our GDP going to healthcare is the fraud and waste in the for profit sector – not the government, of course you'll fabricate some “truthieness” that sounds good to contradict that FACT! England spends only 7% of their GDP to have very good national healthcare for everyone. Australia is even better! And yes I know hard working people in each of those countries who greatly appreciate their TRUE healthcare system.
    Of course you'll present lies about it's worse ad if it is better why do rich people form there come here to buy their way ahead of the line for healthcare here – and I'll say because rich people can! That doesn't make it better – moron!

    December 16, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Jason

    Elect Rick Bachman: Because Mitt Gingrich is Newt Romney. Also, Mitt knows what it takes to get the economy back on track. Slaves and more slaves. In addition, he will bring immigrants into the country via fed ex. He said it, not me.

    Elect Ron Paul & Jon Huntsman in 2012.

    December 16, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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