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Romney quiet on health care because his plan is a dismal failure
The Salt Lake Tribume ^ | 1-29-08 | Michael Tanner

Posted on 02/05/2008 10:03:19 AM PST by Antoninus

As he campaigns across the country this week in anticipation of the Super Tuesday primaries, Mitt Romney probably won't say much about the storied health-care plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts.

For one thing, it is hard to portray yourself as the ideological heir to Ronald Reagan when your health-care plan is virtually indistinguishable from the one proposed by Hillary Clinton. But another reason Romney may not want to talk about his plan is that it has been a dismal failure.

The Massachusetts plan was supposed to achieve universal health coverage while controlling costs. As Romney wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced."

Or not.

Before RomneyCare was enacted, the number of uninsured Massachusetts residents was estimated at 618,000. Under the new program, about 300,000 previously uninsured residents have signed up for insurance. But of these, 169,000 are receiving subsidized coverage, proving once again that people are all too happy to accept something someone else is paying for. Another 70,000 people have also been enrolled in Medicaid, meaning a total of 239,000 people are receiving taxpayer-funded health insurance. Of those who have signed up for insurance since the plan was implemented, slightly more than half have received totally ''free'' coverage. Only 60,000 unsubsidized residents have bought insurance in order to comply with the mandate.

And though the subsidies have increased the number of Massachusetts citizens with insurance, as many as 300,000 Massachusetts residents have failed to buy the required insurance. Thus, half of those who were uninsured before the plan was implemented remain so.

The Massachusetts plan might not have achieved universal coverage, but it has cost taxpayers a great deal of money. It was originally projected to cost $1.8 billion in 2008, but it is now expected to exceed those estimates by $150 million to $400 million. Over the next decade, projections suggest that RomneyCare will cost $2-$4 billion more than was budgeted. Given that Massachusetts is already facing a projected budget deficit this year, the pressure to raise taxes, cut reimbursements to health-care providers, or cap insurance premiums will likely be intense.

The cost of the Massachusetts plan is also likely to continue rising, because it has failed to hold down the cost of health care. When Gov. Romney signed the bill, he claimed "a key objective is to lower the cost of health insurance for all our citizens and allow our citizens to buy the insurance plan that fits their needs." In actuality, insurance premiums in the state are expected to rise 10-12 percent this year - twice the national average.

A major cause is that the new bureaucracy the legislation created - the "Connector" - is not allowing Massachusetts citizens to buy insurance that "fits their needs." For example, the Connector's governing board decrees that by January 2009, no one will be allowed to have insurance with a deductible higher than $2,000 or total out-of-pocket costs of more than $5,000.

In addition, every policy will be required to provide prescription drug coverage, a move that could add 5-15 percent to the cost of insurance plans. A proposal to require dental coverage failed narrowly, but the dentists - and several other provider groups - have not given up the effort to force its inclusion. This comes on top of the 40 mandated benefits the state had previously required, ranging from in vitro fertilization to chiropractic services.

Romney now says that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Connector board, because it's "an independent body separate from the governor's office." But many critics of the Massachusetts plan warned him precisely against the dangers of giving regulatory authority to a bureaucracy that would last long beyond his adminis- tration.

Executives often blame others for the failures of their own policies, but that's not a tendency one looks for in a candidate. Romney claims he is a "true conservative" with the business expertise to "get things done." Judging by his experience with health-care reform, far from it.

---

* MICHAEL TANNER is director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute and the author of Leviathan on the Right. Readers may write to the author at the Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; Web site: www.cato.org.


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: biggovtliberal; flipromney; romneycare; romneytruthfile; socializedmedicine
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This article is important because this type of stuff will be coming to a country near you if this liberal wolf-in-sheep's clothing gets the nomination.

Why anyone thinks Romney is somehow "better" than McCain is beyond me. They're both awful--but Romney is worse because he's lying about what he really is.
1 posted on 02/05/2008 10:03:22 AM PST by Antoninus
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To: Antoninus

Its pretty much knowledge now that Romney’s health care plan in MA has been seriously compromised by the liberal governor now running the state.

Which is why electing a liberal like Juan McAztlan means we will get screwier programs than we had under Jorge Boosh

What is Juan McAztlan’s health care plan? Free health care for illegals? Wait we already have that....how about more free health care for illegals?


2 posted on 02/05/2008 10:10:00 AM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (Support the ABM Treaty...Anyone But McCain)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: UCFRoadWarrior
Its pretty much knowledge now that Romney’s health care plan in MA has been seriously compromised by the liberal governor now running the state.

LOL. You guys have let anti-McCainia addle your brains.

Romney is as bad or worse. And he's trying to get elected using conservative support, money, and votes.

No conservative should support this guy for ANY reason.
4 posted on 02/05/2008 10:30:32 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus

And McCain is not lying? Or maybe Juan McCain really is Ronald Reagan reincarnate.


5 posted on 02/05/2008 10:30:46 AM PST by NavVet ( If you don't defend Conservatism in the Primaries, you won't have it to defend in November)
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To: Antoninus
You are going to get health care in one form or another. It will in either a Romeny flavor, Hillary flavor or a Obama flavor. McCain will not lead any fight against health care and will wind up with his own “government” plan. If MCain wins you will probably see something similar to the Romney flavor.
6 posted on 02/05/2008 10:33:16 AM PST by MBB1984
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To: Baynative
2. Economy - Romney- hands down.

Michael Medved disassembled someone spouting this mantra yesterday on his show. What, exactly, about Romney's economic plan makes it superior to McCain's?

All we really know about Romney is that he's fond of big government solutions and creating massive new unfunded mandates. Tell me that's not a drain on the economy?
7 posted on 02/05/2008 10:33:35 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
They won’t be illegals getting free health care, they’ll be citizens getting free health care, since he wants to end the illegal designation through the shell game of ‘immigration reform.’

Enough fall guy politics; Mitt started the process, knowing full well that it would be corrupted by the state legislature and by succeeding office holders. For a ‘business’ guy, he’s either an idiot or thinks we are.

I can pretend to hold out hope for some brokered convention where a real conservative is given the nomination, but that’s just not going to happen. Even if it went to an open convention, our RINO leaders will choose whomever got the most popular votes or some other inane manner of pushing forward their big government supporters.

8 posted on 02/05/2008 10:35:01 AM PST by kingu (We failed to quash Huck McRomney and gosh, that's exactly who's left.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

Yeah, Mitt’s plan to pay for abortions (after a $50 co pay) was a real conservative one.


9 posted on 02/05/2008 10:35:25 AM PST by wastedpotential (A Reagan Bush conservative from OH and ..... an unashamed Huckabee supporter (as is Duncan Hunter))
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To: MBB1984
You are going to get health care in one form or another. It will in either a Romeny flavor, Hillary flavor or a Obama flavor. McCain will not lead any fight against health care and will wind up with his own “government” plan.

Wow. Are we THAT defeatist on FR now that we're simply going to give up and accept a disastrous plan like RomneyCare?

If MCain wins you will probably see something similar to the Romney flavor.

I dislike McCain a great deal, but I'm not willing to make up falsehoods to attack him with. I don't think president McCain would foist socialized medicine on us. He's always been something of a budget hawk, anyway.

Romney? He's a big-government solution kind of guy.
10 posted on 02/05/2008 10:37:07 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus

I was surprised he talked about it so much, so the idea that he doesn’t talk about it is wrong.

Romney’s mistake was to take so much credit for the final product, given how badly the democrats damaged it. Frankly, I don’t think he understood exactly how badly they screwed it up, but he does now.

Fortunately, he’s clearly said that isn’t his plan for President. His plan as President is a good one, which will allow states to experiment and screw themselves over if they like, and the nation will benefit from testing different theories to see what works before we adopt some disastrous Hillary plan.


11 posted on 02/05/2008 10:37:07 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Antoninus

I beg to differ:
Romney’s Massachusetts plan is not a “complete disaster” because the damage it has done and is doing is limited to one state, a state whose citizens have shown themselves time after time to be very tolerant of the most colossal government screw ups.

“Disaster” would be to have attempted to implement this plan or one like it on a national scale, as Shrillary wants.

The opportunity here, for Gov. Romney, is to come out and say, “OK, we screwed up! It was a bad idea, here’s why, and we won’t make a mistake like that again!”

But can you see him doing it?


12 posted on 02/05/2008 10:39:57 AM PST by Redbob (WWJBD: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Frankly, I don’t think he understood exactly how badly they screwed it up, but he does now.

LOL. he didn't understand? Really? Is that the kind of guy we want to be our president? First, he's got the core values problem, now he "doesn't understand" that Democrats screw things up?

Fact: Romney was instrumental in pushing through a socialized medicine scheme that has been run into the ground less than 2 years after he left office. And somehow, it's not his fault? Please.

I was born at night, but not last night.


13 posted on 02/05/2008 10:40:26 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Redbob
Romney’s Massachusetts plan is not a “complete disaster” because the damage it has done and is doing is limited to one state, a state whose citizens have shown themselves time after time to be very tolerant of the most colossal government screw ups.

Pardon me, but I believe I've already heard the phrase "federal bailout" associated with RomneyCare.
14 posted on 02/05/2008 10:41:53 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
"...Romney’s health care plan in MA has been seriously compromised by the liberal governor now running the state."

No, Romney's healthcare plan was "seriously compromised" by the fact it was a stupid idea to begin with.

The sooner Mitt admits that, and says so publicly, the sooner we can move on to more pressing matters - like getting him nominated instead of Juan McInsane!

15 posted on 02/05/2008 10:46:33 AM PST by Redbob (WWJBD: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Antoninus
You obviously have not been looking at the polls. This country is growing increasingly socialist friendly and desires some form of government sponsored health care program. That’s reality whether you chose to accept it or not. Romney’s plan is still far preferable than Hillary’s and particularly Obama’s.

Whoever is elected President will have a democrat congress. They will pass a health care bill and you are kidding yourself if you think McVain will not compromise and ultimately enact some form of Romney health care package. McVain is more a lover than a fighter when he is dealing with his democrat chums in the Senate.

16 posted on 02/05/2008 10:47:50 AM PST by MBB1984
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To: Antoninus

Well if it is identical to Hillarycare then he has no weakness as far as campaigning goes. If the media make healthcare an issue, he can say he has experience in implementing what Hillary merely proposes and has no experience with. And if the media want to say his program sucks, well then that doesn’t really help Hillary’s campaign for health care if it’s the same program.


17 posted on 02/05/2008 10:57:42 AM PST by monkeyshine
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To: monkeyshine
Well if it is identical to Hillarycare then he has no weakness as far as campaigning goes.

Except with conservatives who think socialized medicine is a really, really, bad idea. Like 99% of the people on this website did before they drank the Romney Koolaide.
18 posted on 02/05/2008 10:59:49 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus
"What, exactly, about Romney's economic plan makes it superior to McCain's?"

The fact that, just a couple weeks ago, McLame said words to the effect that "I don't really understand economics."?

You want an "economic plan" from a guy like that?
That's what we have now, and I can't help but think we can do better.

19 posted on 02/05/2008 11:00:45 AM PST by Redbob (WWJBD: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Antoninus
"Pardon me, but I believe I've already heard the phrase "federal bailout" associated with RomneyCare."

No doubt you're right.

20 posted on 02/05/2008 11:02:56 AM PST by Redbob (WWJBD: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
"Its pretty much knowledge now that Romney’s health care plan in MA has been seriously compromised by the liberal governor now running the state"

If Romney couldn't see that this was inevitable he's too stupid to be President.

21 posted on 02/05/2008 11:06:02 AM PST by joebuck
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To: Antoninus

Government managed markets have never worked. They are not working, now. And, they won’t work under plans such as these.

The government needs to get the hell out of healthcare, completely. The dramatic increases in health care costs didn’t start until the feds got involved back in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

Time for a return to constitutional mandates...


22 posted on 02/05/2008 11:12:33 AM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion...)
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To: PubliusMM
The government needs to get the hell out of healthcare, completely. The dramatic increases in health care costs didn’t start until the feds got involved back in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

Exactly. Get the government out of healthcare and put it back into the hands of individuals and watch the costs go down.

Funny, that's what conservatives used to stand for. Now-days, a "conservative" is a Republican who implements HillaryCare on a statewide level rather than federally.

Truly pathetic.
23 posted on 02/05/2008 11:15:39 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus

Bump.


24 posted on 02/05/2008 11:17:00 AM PST by Greg F (Romney appointed homosexual activists as judges in Massachusetts.)
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To: joebuck
If Romney couldn't see that this was inevitable he's too stupid to be President.

LOL. Exactly. He's either an ignoramus or this was all part of the plan. For the record, I don't think Flip's an ignoramus.
25 posted on 02/05/2008 11:17:06 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Redbob
The fact that, just a couple weeks ago, McLame said words to the effect that "I don't really understand economics."?

You didn't address my question. What, specifically, about Romney's plan impresses you that's not also contained in McCain's plan?
26 posted on 02/05/2008 11:18:17 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus
In actuality, insurance premiums in the state are expected to rise 10-12 percent this year - twice the national average.

If that's true, then this is an unmitigated disaster but not unexpected with socialized medicine. I wonder where the author got that figure from?

MA was supposed to be the perfect storm for universal care; a small population overall and a very small uninsured population, a high percentage of government employees already receiving coverage, liberal voters ....

In short, a mini-Canada.

If it doesn't work here, how in the hell will it work in California?

27 posted on 02/05/2008 11:18:51 AM PST by keat (You know who I feel bad for? Arab-Americans who truly want to get into crop-dusting.)
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To: Antoninus
"or one thing, it is hard to portray yourself as the ideological heir to Ronald Reagan"

If this Liberal is around in July, he will be yelling from the high heavens that he is the NEW REAGAN.

28 posted on 02/05/2008 11:19:16 AM PST by Afronaut (RIght now Ron Paul has my vote. He has become the only choice.)
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To: MBB1984
This country is growing increasingly socialist friendly and desires some form of government sponsored health care program.

Feel free to surrender then. There are enough folks who will fight socialized medicine to make sure it never gets off the ground on the federal level.
29 posted on 02/05/2008 11:19:21 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

The Gov. Mitt Romeny Abortion costs $50.00.

What is the cost of an abortion in Mass now under that liberal governor?


30 posted on 02/05/2008 11:21:46 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: Antoninus
..even if I accepted his recent conversions on several issues (which I don't)--I can never forget this:

LINK

Having said that, strategically, it is better if he knocks off McCain in CA--it's all very confusing...

31 posted on 02/05/2008 11:21:47 AM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
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To: Afronaut
If this Liberal is around in July, he will be yelling from the high heavens that he is the NEW REAGAN.

And so will his brain-dead cheering committee here on FR.
32 posted on 02/05/2008 11:23:31 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus

Romney can keep his communist, liberal Hildabeast care. The only one we sadly have left to vote for is *gulp* Huckabee, but he’s a dang sight better than the other two. I will never vote for Romney. At least Huckabee has never been pro-abortion, Myth Romney’s plan even PAID for abortions.


33 posted on 02/05/2008 11:23:58 AM PST by Nebraska6804
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To: kingu

I can pretend to hold out hope for some brokered convention where a real conservative is given the nomination, but that’s just not going to happen. Even if it went to an open convention, our RINO leaders will choose whomever got the most popular votes or some other inane manner of pushing forward their big government supporters.
________________________________________

Given Romney’s decision to contest the southern states instead of leaving them to Huckabee/McCain contests, I think you are right. The best hope we have is a few “favorite sons” arising in later contests to win the delegates for thier states to an uncommitted status . . . and who could then act as kingmakers at the convention.


34 posted on 02/05/2008 11:24:08 AM PST by Greg F (Romney appointed homosexual activists as judges in Massachusetts.)
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To: WalterSkinner
Having said that, strategically, it is better if he knocks off McCain in CA--it's all very confusing...

Yes, agreed. If Flip wins CA, he may just stay in the race and the chance for a brokered convention is a bit greater.

That said, this knock-down-drag-out fight for the nomination is going to seriously weaken whoever emerges. Flip will have to spend nearly half his net worth to do it. And that is a staggering sum of money.
35 posted on 02/05/2008 11:27:35 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Nebraska6804
The only one we sadly have left to vote for is *gulp* Huckabee, but he’s a dang sight better than the other two.

I gulped and voted for Huck this morning....
36 posted on 02/05/2008 11:28:37 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: MBB1984

The problem is that any flavor of government health care we get will latter be expanded and end up costing us much more than originally promised.


37 posted on 02/05/2008 11:31:27 AM PST by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: Nebraska6804

Come on, the RomenyCare Co-Pay for an Abortion is a whopping Fifty Bucks!


38 posted on 02/05/2008 11:32:31 AM PST by trumandogz
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Antoninus
a brokered convention

..we're on the same page--again ;- )

40 posted on 02/05/2008 11:42:33 AM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
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To: Baynative
None of those things you mentioned are part of Romney's economic plan. Safe to assume you have no idea what's in his economic plan and are just going by what Hugh Hewitt and others have been spouting?

Romney has a solid understanding of the destructive nature of taxation and over regulation in regards to business.

Right. That's why he raised "fees" in Massachusetts, not taxes. And that's why he set up a socialized medicine scheme that's in the process of going belly-up.

[rolls eyes...]
41 posted on 02/05/2008 11:43:41 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: WalterSkinner
..we're on the same page--again ;- )

If only the conservative media and the Romney-Bots had jumped on the Duncan Hunter bandwagon with the same kind of enthusiasm. We could have avoided this whole mess.
42 posted on 02/05/2008 11:45:11 AM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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To: Antoninus

And yet Romney is looking good next to McCain and the Huckster. That’s how bad the GOP is now.


43 posted on 02/05/2008 11:48:23 AM PST by darkangel82 (And the band played on....)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
What is Juan McAztlan’s health care plan? Free health care for illegals?

That plus free citizenship!

44 posted on 02/05/2008 11:54:38 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
What is Juan McAztlan’s health care plan? Free health care for illegals?

Don't forget his assertions that the pharmaceutical companies are all corrupt and need much more stringent regulation.

McCain is a populist, which is another way of saying he believe in big government regulation. However, he has also argued for extending entitlement benefits to illegal aliens, so saying he only supports more regulation might be selling his liberalism short.

He does argue for spending cuts. I just don't see where he would cut since he seems to support so many social programs.

Surprisingly enough the one thing he didn't fight was the Clinton administration gutting our military.

45 posted on 02/05/2008 11:56:03 AM PST by untrained skeptic
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To: Antoninus
They're both awful

Just look at how low we've sunk. We are now reduced to arguing over which one is less awful -- and getting angry with each other about it!

This is bad.

46 posted on 02/05/2008 12:03:37 PM PST by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
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To: Antoninus

Bears Repeating...

“Dismal Failure”


47 posted on 02/05/2008 12:06:37 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Antoninus
Why anyone thinks Romney is somehow "better" than McCain is beyond me.

Some of us think the border and free speech are big issues. We're not enthused about Romney, but do not want the party destroyed by a crazy old man who hates conservatives and conservatism.

48 posted on 02/05/2008 12:08:50 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: Antoninus
No conservative should support this guy for ANY reason.

This conservative is. You McCain apologists need a dose of history as to why we won't ever support McCain and would rather hold our nose for Romney:

John McCain, you treasonous bastard by Jim Robinson

49 posted on 02/05/2008 12:12:26 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: BfloGuy
Just look at how low we've sunk. We are now reduced to arguing over which one is less awful -- and getting angry with each other about it! This is bad.

You said it. This is what happens when you let the media (and the conservative media, too, apparently) pick your candidates for you.
50 posted on 02/05/2008 12:17:40 PM PST by Antoninus (I survived Roe v. Wade. 40,000,000 of my generation did not.)
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