DNC hits Romney on individual mandate
March 9th, 2012
08:58 AM ET
11 years ago

DNC hits Romney on individual mandate

(CNN) – National Democrats continued to hit Mitt Romney Friday, releasing a web video criticizing the GOP presidential candidate for changing positions on government requirements to purchase health insurance.

The video is the latest in a series of hits on Romney from the Democratic National Committee, which has focused almost exclusively on the former Massachusetts governor in the lead-up to November's general election fight against President Barack Obama.

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Called "Say Anything," the video splices together clips of Romney explaining the health care plan which passed when he was governor of the Bay State, a measure that included an "individual mandate" requiring citizens to purchase health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act passed by a Democratic controlled Congress and signed into law by Obama in 2010 has a similar provision.

Romney, the front-runner in the race for GOP nomination, has been criticized by his Republican rivals for pushing the law in Massachusetts that required citizens to obtain insurance, saying the mandate restricts individuals' right to make their own health insurance decisions. Romney has responded that he never intended the Massachusetts law to be adopted nationwide.

In the DNC video released Friday, Democrats attempt to paint Romney as a flip-flopper on the issue, presenting him at various points saying he opposes a federal individual mandate, while using tape from older interviews that suggests he's changed his position.

"Mitt Romney condemns the individual mandate on the campaign trail. Is that the position he's always had?" the video asks.

Clips of Romney in 2011 and 2012 show the candidate saying he "opposed the idea of a federal mandate from the very beginning," and that he would never take "what we had done for one state and impose it on the entire nation."

Earlier clips of Romney portray a different picture, as when he said the Massachusetts law "could be a model for the nation."

He is shown in a 2008 GOP presidential debate saying "I like mandates. If somebody can afford insurance and decides not to buy and then they get sick, they ought to pay their own way, as opposed to expect government to pay their way. That's an American principle."

The video ends with the proclamation: "Mitt Romney against individual mandates except when he's for them."

DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement: "Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected. Throughout this primary campaign, Romney has tried to rewrite history about his health care record, telling conservative audiences that he never supported an individual mandate at the national level, only at the state level. Unfortunately, he can’t run from the truth – Mitt Romney has repeatedly expressed support for a national individual health care mandate, based on the model he established in Massachusetts."

Responding to the DNC, Mitt Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said Democrats were attempting to distract from Obama's own record.

“President Obama and his allies are desperate to distract from his failed record, so they are continuing their strategy to ‘kill Romney,'" Saul said. "If they spent half as much time trying to create jobs as they do spreading falsehoods about Mitt Romney, there might be fewer than 23 million Americans struggling for work. Obamacare is bad policy, it’s bad law and Mitt Romney will repeal it. On health care, what’s important is that states retain the ability to pursue their own solutions, not have one imposed on them by Washington.”

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Filed under: 2012 • DNC • Health care • Mitt Romney
soundoff (40 Responses)

    "I like mandates. If somebody can afford insurance and decides not to buy and then they get sick, they ought to pay their own way, as opposed to expect government to pay their way. That's an American principle."
    Flip Flop. I remember when he said this. I also remember when he said he was a "moderate" with "progressive values."

    March 9, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. diridi

    Mitt Romney=Ban your social security, and Medicare.

    March 9, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. king

    Dens need to realize that mitt is "a every one for themselves Guy". He feels that America shouldn't have any advantage or be shown any special treatment over China, India, or any other countries who want to compete in the global free market. This is good for the 1 percent at the top, but what happens to those of us on maindtreat who have to compete with China and India out rageous population numbers and low wages.

    March 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Dave

    This is just one of the many Romney flip-flops that the voters will be reminded of in the coming months. Considering the vast negativity of the Romney campaign, let's see if he can take it as well as he can dish it out.

    March 9, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. GI Joe.

    Don't worry, he'll change his mind again tomorrow.

    March 9, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to decieve. We have been living under Liberal/Progressive Health Care since Lyndon Johnson's GREAT Society and Medicare. The Federal Government has no business in the Medical Business. The U.S. constutition gives the Congress no power to require the citizen to buy Health Care! If a State passes it by a vote of the citizens of that state, so be it. Is anyone looking at the National Debt that is going up, and up, and up? The democrats are driving the countyr over a cliff, of which may already too late to prevent it. 50 Million home Morgages under water. 47 Million on Food Stamps. That is your democrat plan. You like it???

    March 9, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. thomas

    Mitt Romney supports invading Iran . He just doesn't want his own sons doing the fighting.

    The New Mormon Cast System.

    March 9, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Marry

    Yes, we get it! The GOP/TP is against the Affordable Care Act with all their might. However, at one point they said that would be the way to go. But the moment the President was for it (and passed it by a Democratic Congress) they are death set against it. Well, the system had to be changed and fixed. So what is the GOP/TP (and candidates) suggesting to fix it their way? Nothing! Thought so…
    Just one of hundreds of examples one could cite of how the GOP/TP worked with (or to put it more accurately, 99% against) the President. Can’t wait for November!

    March 9, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Dave

    So Romney lies. This isn't news. Republicants have employed lies to curry voter favor since Nixon. Is anyone surprised that Romney would lie, bald faced, to get elected?

    March 9, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Real Politics

    It's about time someone start attacking him on these issues. Every time someone tried to get him on the debates he always hovered these main two questions: What exactly was your experience at Bain Capitol and what makes your health plan different from Obamacare? Glad the truth is coming out so people can quit voting for this dumbo. Vote Rick Santorum who has nothing to hide!

    March 9, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Emmy Skaddittle

    Well he cannot attack the President on ObamaCares and Job creation is up, whats next?

    March 9, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Canada

    Is there anyway the USA could make the running for GOP any longer, it's almost been going on as long as Obama has been in office, what a joke. How much money is wasted on this ? With the USA in financial ruin you would think there would be more concern over that then the price of gas.

    March 9, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. Dave

    Here is the difference between the democrats and Romney: President Obama and the dems have an individual mandate that gives the government an unfair advantage over private insurers. Romney, in contrast, has an individual mandate to avoid the free-rider problem, and he uses the private sector to implement the policy. One is a big government solution, the other is based on captialism. Also, I should point out that Romney wants to save social security and medicare, while Obama is ignoring the fact that they are going bankrupt. Finally, get over the Mormon issue. We live in a diverse society.

    March 9, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. diridi

    flip-flopper, flip-flop...again flip...

    March 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. paulbjohnson

    And Obama is always, always, always for individual mandates. I'll take Mitt.

    March 9, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. demwit

    Ummmm.., isn't the Supreme Court suppose to decide if mandates are unconstitutional??

    March 9, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    ...and where are the apologists for Mittens saying his words are being taken out of context? This issue is dead as a hit on Obama in the general election. He'll have to come up with something else......$2.50 for gas because he says so??

    March 9, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. SMH

    Romney should host the Olypmics Gymanastics next, the way he flip-flop on every single issue. He's a moderate Republician, now he thinks a conservative Republician. Come on Mittens!!! Excuse me Willard. lol.

    March 9, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Anthony

    Actually, Romney is for individual mandate at the state level (he still defends his Massachusetts health care plan) but against it at the national level. If all states decide to impose individual mandate on their own, Romney has no problem with that. So he is for the individual mandate and against it at the same time.

    March 9, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. WTF

    Its funny when people write that the GOP candidates are draft dodgers and won't send their children to fight, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH... I have fought and continue to fight... But, the truth is that the majority of the people who make these comments have not served either. Less, than 3% of the population serve or have served.

    March 9, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. SMH

    Mittens stated that he can not have illegal immigrants working for me, because I'm running for President for Christ sakes! So, its was okay to have illegal immigrants before you started running for president. I'll bet you 10,000 to Rick Perry. He have so many gaffes that its just remarkable how many people believe in his bs.

    March 9, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. CoJo

    any one who agreed with the Blunt bill won't get my vote. It is irrelevant that the senate voted it down. The fact that the republicans wanted the Blunt bill as it was written is a no vote for me. And to think I would have entertained listening to Romney va Obama.

    March 9, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. CoJo

    Then on top of that, Romney got pulled into the secular fight with Santorum on evangels conservative about Obama being anti-christ and all that crap. Of all of the republicans, he should have made the JFK speech about religion and left it at that. But no, he had to be pulled into Santorum's fight. Imagine what he would do with international leaders? He'll get pulled into playing their game instead of his own.

    March 9, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Independent Voters

    Romney is such a lier and a flip flopper. I wondering what the next lie he going to make.

    March 9, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Drew


    It seems that you don't really understand how the President's health care reforms work. There is no "government advantage" because the government isn't selling health insurance. It requires everyone to buy PRIVATE insurance, just the same as Mitt Romney's plan. They are virtually the same thing.

    March 9, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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