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'Pre-existing condition' vexes Mitt Romney
Politico ^ | 3/29/10 | JONATHAN MARTIN & BEN SMITH

Posted on 03/30/2010 10:21:25 PM PDT by ATX 1985

In the days immediately before and after passage of the landmark health care reform bill, Mitt Romney responded so forcefully as to suggest his own political fate is tied to the new law.

It may well be.

Just as health care, or “Obamacare,” as it is derided on the right, hangs over this year’s midterm elections, it is already casting a shadow on the 2012 presidential contest — and its GOP front-runner. What was once thought to be an asset for Romney, his passage as Massachusetts governor of a health care mandate for the state’s residents, now poses a potentially serious threat to his White House hopes.

The prospect of a larger government role in health care has become so toxic among conservatives that Romney’s principal calling card from his Beacon Hill tenure has become something he’s now defending rather than touting.

While the first primary contest of the presidential race is still just under two years away, and Romney hasn’t officially made his intentions known, the quandary has already become reminiscent of the predicament then-Sen. Hillary Clinton grappled with in the run-up to the 2008 race.

Having supported the 2002 congressional resolution that the Democratic Party’s base viewed as giving President Bush a free hand to invade Iraq, Clinton and her top advisers spent years debating how to address what became a definitional issue in the primary.

They eventually determined that she would not apologize for her vote, a decision that may have pre-empted general election charges that she was weak on national security but one that, in her epic battle with Barack Obama, enabled her main rival to attack her for both her initial support of the measure and the subsequent muddled rationale for refusing to back off the vote.

Romney is, for now, not distancing himself from the health care plan he passed. He recently made the case that it is “working well,” and his spokesman and longtime adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the former governor would not flee from the plan referred to in some quarters as “Romneycare.”

“The plan is his signature achievement as governor, and he’s rightfully proud of it,” said Fehrnstrom.

But Romney is nevertheless responding to passage of the federal plan with an urgency that illustrates how health care is shaping up to be the defining issue in the early skirmishing leading up to the next presidential campaign.

The former governor has launched a two-pronged strategy that features a robust argument about how his state plan is different from Washington Democrats’ approach, accompanied by an aggressive attack against the new law. The hope: that explanation and high-profile opposition are the only ways to redefine his record on the issue — or at least mitigate the attacks that have already begun to emerge from some of his potential 2012 primary rivals.

Read more:

TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: benedictromney; buyromneysbook; canttrustmitt; canttrustromney; du4romney; msm4romney; obama4romney; pimp4romney; pimpromneyhere; pleasebuymittsbook; pleasepimpmitt; politico4romney; promiseall4romney; romney; romney4obama; romneyantigop; romneyantipalin; romneybot4romney; romneybringsdeath; romneycare; romneydeathpanel; romneykilledgrandma; romneythrewelection

1 posted on 03/30/2010 10:21:25 PM PDT by ATX 1985
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To: ATX 1985

Go away, Mittens.

And take your socialized medicine with you.

2 posted on 03/30/2010 10:28:03 PM PDT by adm5 (AMERICA HAS ONLY GOD AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT LEFT TO SAVE THE REPUBLIC. by: LibLieSlayer 3/18/10)
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To: ATX 1985

Mitt is screwed in so many ways.

3 posted on 03/30/2010 10:29:41 PM PDT by ConservativeMind (Hypocrisy: "Animal rightists" who eat meat & pen up pets while accusing hog farmers of cruelty.)
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To: ATX 1985

What to put some sugar on his RomneyCare to disguise it. Goes to show what a con man you are at your attempt to sell s*it and call it pudding.

4 posted on 03/30/2010 10:33:30 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: ATX 1985

Romney has a formidable task ahead. To be able to separate his Massachusetts health care from Obamacare will take surgical precision in his language. However, no matter how he says it, few will pay attention to the details and he will be lost in a political climate that will take anything that he says as a snow job. Romney failing Massachusetts health care will be like an Albatross around his neck. The hatred that people around the country have for Obamacare will only draw attention to Romneycare.

5 posted on 03/30/2010 10:36:02 PM PDT by jonrick46 (We're being water boarded with the sewage of Fabian Socialism.)
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To: ConservativeMind

Hasn’t Romney also waffled on abortion?

I don’t think he should be proud of what he did in Massachusetts, that State now has the longest waits to see a doctor.

One of the reasons America has such a higher survival rate of cancer compared to Europe is because of timeliness of diagnosis. Sure, maybe we can wind a few examples of people that will live because of these bills, but what about all of the people that are now more likely to die because of receiving less prompt attention? Maybe this whole argument about morality isn’t as black and white as liberals think?

6 posted on 03/30/2010 10:36:04 PM PDT by ATX 1985 (Time is Breath, Breath is Light, Light is Life)
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To: jonrick46
"Romney failing Massachusetts health care will be like an Albatross around his neck."

Like you I too at first thought albatross around his neck. Then I realized Romneycare was more like an anvil or anchor around his neck. It is way too heavy for him to lift off and it will eventually sink him. The biggest hammer we have to pound 0bama's ham handed arrogance is 0bamacare. If Romney is the nominee, that hammer becomes a cream puff.

There is no way Mitt Romney can win against 0bama which is precisely why the democrats will do all they can to see that he is the republican candidate.

7 posted on 03/30/2010 11:05:25 PM PDT by Waryone
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To: ATX 1985
The plan, his fake badges, his coverup of the BIG DIG,
and his impositions of both gay marriage and Romneycare
without a citizens vote, a more taxes called "fees"
are his signature achievements as governor,
and he’s rightfully proud of it,

said Fehrnstrom.

8 posted on 03/31/2010 4:17:01 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." --Thomas Jefferson)
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To: ATX 1985
While Gov.Palin and America were working to stop ObamaCARE
where was the most-RINO backstabber-in-chief Mitt Romney?

Hiding, sending out his manipulators,
selling his ghostwritten book,
helping Gore push the fraud of climate change,
and actually (true to form) attacking the "tea party".

9 posted on 03/31/2010 4:17:18 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." --Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Waryone

You’ve hit the nail on the head. Unless Romney can convincingly demonstrate a complete change of conviction - which to-date he hasn’t done at all - then he is not just damaged goods, he’s out and out toxic.

10 posted on 03/31/2010 4:19:16 AM PDT by Oceander (The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance -- Thos. Jefferson)
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To: Oceander
If change helps bad governor Mitt RomneyCARE, then he "wins".

Mitt Romney’s “Record”

From the Left:
“Governor Romney…imposed a slew of fee hikes and tax ‘loophole’ closures….The largest of these was $259 million worth of fee hikes in FY 2004, the bulk of which came from higher Registry of Deeds fees. Smaller fee hikes, including higher charges for boaters and golfers, we imposed in FY 2003 and FY 2005. Romney also sought $128 million worth of so-called tax loophole closures for FY 2004; $70 million for FY 2005; and $170 million for FY 2006, which were later reduced to $85 million due to backlash from business leaders.”
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
“Romney continues to oppose the flat tax with harsh language, calling the tax ‘unfair.’”
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
Romney didn’t support President Bush’s tax cuts in 2003. That earned him praise from liberal Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)
- Boston Globe, April 11, 2003.

As Gov of Massachusetts, Romney managed to even raise taxes on New Hampshire residents.

From the Right:
“I said no to a tax hike; raising taxes hurts working people and scares away jobs. I also said no to more borrowing; borrowing just shifts our problems to the backs of our kids...Instead, I went after waste, inefficiency, duplication, and patronage.”
- Governor Romney, Boston Globe, October 24, 2005
From the Left:
In 2002, Romney broke with his predecessor, Jane Swift, and Republican governors before her by declining to sign a written vow not to raise taxes once in office.
- Boston Globe, January 5, 2007
"(Under the lash of Mitt RomneyCARE) as U.S. real output grew
13 percent between 2002 and 2006, Massachusetts trailed at 9 percent.
* Manufacturing employment fell 7 percent nationwide those years, but sank 14 percent under Romney, placing Massachusetts 48th among the states.
* Between fall 2003 and autumn 2006, U.S. job growth averaged 5.4 percent, nearly three times Massachusetts' anemic 1.9 percent pace.
* While 8 million Americans over age 16 found work between 2002 and 2006, the number of employed Massachusetts residents actually declined by 8,500 during those years.
"Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents," professors Sum and McLaughlin concluded.
In an April 2003 meeting with the Massachusetts congressional delegation in Washington, Romney failed to endorse President Bush's $726 billion tax-cut proposal."
[Cato Institute annual Fiscal Policy Report Card - America's Governors, 2004.]

From the Right:
Almost five years after he refused to sign a “no new taxes” pledge during his campaign for governor, Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he had done just that, as his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination began in earnest.
- Boston Globe, January 5, 2007
From the Left:
Governor Romney has changed his position on key campaign finance reform issues several times during public life. During his 1994 Senate campaign, he held far left positions that advocated for abolishing PACs and creating strict campaign spending limits.
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
From the Right:
As he runs for President, Romney abandoned his previous stance and has come out as a harsh critic of McCain-Feingold, and those presidential candidates who support it. His transformation has even propelled him to call for the legislation’s repeal.
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
ABORTION From the Left:
Romney ran against Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1994. During a debate, Romney declared: “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”
- Boston Globe, March 2, 2006

“I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.”
-2002 Questionnaire for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL)
Boston Globe, July 3, 2005
From the Right:
“I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”
- Boston Globe, Op-Ed, July 26, 2005
More from the Right:
“Every decision I have made as Governor in a very liberal state has been on the side of favoring life.” – Governor Romney
- Robert Behre, “Romney Gets S.C. Support,” Charleston Post-Courier, January 30, 2007
From the Left:
“Romney has decided to support experimentation on surplus frozen embryos from in-vitro fertilization procedures.”
- National Review Online, February 11, 2005

“At a campaign appearance at Brandeis University in June 2002, Romney strongly endorsed stem cell research.”
- Boston Globe, December 17, 2006
From the Center:
“Governor Mitt Romney set off a storm of criticism yesterday after he declared in a published interview that he favored banning a specific type of stem cell research. Scientists and the leader of the state Senate accused him of trying to block a promising avenue of research, even as antiabortion groups assailed him for declaring that he did not object to stem cell research involving embryos from fertility clinics.”
- Boston Globe, February 11, 2005
From the Right:
“I studied the issue for many months, and entered into conversation with experts from across the nation who were looking for consensus solutions, like Stanford’s Dr. William Hurlbut. In the end, I became persuaded that the stem-cell debate was grounded in a false premise, and that the way through it was around it: by the use of scientific techniques that could produce the equivalent of embryonic stem cells but without cloning, creating, harming, or destroying developing human lives.”
- Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “A Stem-Cell Solution,” National Review Online, June 15, 2007
From the Left:
“When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney said he supported expanding access to the emergency contraception pill, a high dose of hormones that women can take to prevent pregnancy up to five days after sex . . . On a questionnaire Planned Parenthood gave to the gubernatorial candidates in 2002, Romney answered ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Do you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception?’ “
- Boston Globe, July 7, 2005
From the Right:
“Yesterday I vetoed a bill that the Legislature forwarded to my desk. Though described by its sponsors as a measure relating to contraception, there is more to it than that. The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception: The drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception.”
- Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “Why I Vetoed The Contraception Bill,” Boston Globe, July 26, 2005 Read the article
From the Left:
“All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.”
- Romney’s 2002 campaign website

“Mitt and Kerry Wish You a Great Pride Weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference”
- A flier handed out at “Gay Pride” by the Romney/Healey Campaign See the flier here
“We have discussed a number of important issues such as the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which I have agreed to co-sponsor, and if possible broaden to include housing and credit, and a bill to create a federal panel to find ways to reduce gay and lesbian youth suicide, which I also support. One issue I want to clarify concerns [grammar in context] President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” military policy. I believe that the Clinton compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share…”
- Governor Romney letter to Log Cabin Republicans, October 6, 1994
From the Right:
Lopez: “And what about the 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans where you indicated you would support the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and seemed open to changing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military? Are those your positions today?
Gov. Romney: “No. I don’t see the need for new or special legislation. My experience over the past several years as governor has convinced me that ENDA would be an overly broad law that would open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges...As for military policy and the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, I trust the counsel of those in uniform who have set these policies over a dozen years ago. I agree with President Bush’s decision to maintain this policy and I would do the same.” - Interview with National Review, December 14, 2006 Read the interview
From the Left:
In 2002, before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared same-sex marriage protected by the Constitution, Romney denounced as “too extreme” the effort by pro-family groups to enact a preemptive state Marriage Protection Amendment prohibiting homosexual marriage, civil unions and same-sex public employee benefits.
- Boston Phoenix, May 14-20, 2004
From the Right:
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “Do you support a national constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage?”
Governor Romney: “Boy, I sure do. You know, that’s a topic that’s really, I think, very important to the country because marriage is not just about adults. Marriage is about the development and nurturing of kids, and in my view, the development of a child is enhanced by having a mom and dad. And so, I think it’s very important that we have a national standard because marriage is a status. You get married in one place and then you move to another, you’re still married at least in the eyes of the community and the children and the benefits may not follow you, but ultimately we’re going to have one standard of marriage in this country and that standard ought to be one man and one woman.”
- MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” September 17, 2007
From the Left:
“He [Romney] is a supporter of the federal assault weapons ban.”
- Romney 2002 campaign website
More from the Left:
In his 1994 US Senate run, Romney backed two gun-control measures strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups: the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons.
“That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,” Romney told the Boston Herald in 1994.
At another campaign stop that year, he told reporters: “I don’t line up with the NRA.” - Boston Globe, January 14, 2007
From the Right:
“Americans should have the right to own and possess firearms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution,” said Governor Romney. “I’m proud to be among the many decent, law-abiding men and women who safely use firearms.”
- Governor Romney, News Release, January 12, 2007
From the Left:
Regarding the Brady Bill which required waiting periods to buy a handgun, Romney stated, “I don’t think [the waiting period] will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect.”
- Boston Herald, August 1, 1994
From the Right:
“Romney says he still backs the ban on assault weapons, but he won’t say whether he stands by the Brady Bill. And after the gun show tour, his campaign declined to say whether he would still describe himself as a supporter of tough gun laws.” - Boston Globe, January 14, 2007
From the Left:
“The minimum wage is important to our economy and Mitt Romney supports minimum wage increase, at least in line with inflation.”
- Romney 2002 campaign website
From the Right:
Governor Mitt Romney yesterday rejected the Legislature’s plan to raise the state minimum wage to $8 an hour over two years, angering Democratic lawmakers and advocates who accused him of abandoning a 2002 campaign pledge to significantly boost the pay of low-wage workers.
- Boston Globe, July 22, 2006
During his 1994 campaign for Senate he continually called for the abolishment of the Department of Education.
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
Governor Romney now supports the No Child Left Behind Act.
- Club for Growth’s White Paper on Mitt Romney
From the Left:
In a November 2005 interview with the Boston Globe, Romney described immigration proposals by McCain and others as “quite different” from amnesty, because they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying for citizenship.
“That’s very different than amnesty, where you literally say, ‘OK, everybody here gets to stay,’ “ Romney said in the interview. “It’s saying you could work your way into becoming a legal resident of the country by working here without taking benefits and then applying and then paying a fine.”
Romney did not specifically endorse McCain’s bill, saying he had not yet formulated a full position on immigration. But he did speak approvingly of efforts by McCain and Bush to solve the nation’s immigration crisis, calling them “reasonable proposals.”
Romney also said in the interview that it was not “practical or economic for the country” to deport the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the US illegally. “These people contribute in many cases to our economy and to our society,” he said. “In some cases, they do not. But that’s a whole group we’re going to have to determine how to deal with.”
- Boston Globe, March 16, 2007 Read the article
From the Right:
In his appeals to conservative voters, Romney has made the Arizona senator’s work on immigration one of his favorite targets. When McCain and other senators unveiled the latest reform bill two weeks ago, Romney called it the “wrong approach” and immediately launched a television ad slamming “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.
- Boston Globe, June 1, 2007 Read the article
From the Left:
He told Fox News his favorite book is L. Ron Hubbard’s “Battlefield Earth”
From the Right:
He also told Fox news his favorite book is the The Bible
His MySpace page said his favorite book is “Huckleberry Finn”

11 posted on 03/31/2010 4:26:39 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." --Thomas Jefferson)
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To: ATX 1985

RomneyCare was NEVER an asset in my mind. But, I’m thrilled to see the media stories detailing how RomneyCare is now an albatross around Mittens’ neck. Go away MITT!

12 posted on 03/31/2010 5:20:23 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Enjoy nature - eat meat, wear fur and drive your car!)
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To: Oceander

Romney was a duplicitous lying phony before 0bamacare. Now that 0bamacare has passed, Romneycare, the one thing he says he believes in, will sink him as a candidate. If the republican party is dumb enough to nominate him, they deserve their moniker — the Stupid Party.

13 posted on 03/31/2010 9:53:40 AM PDT by Waryone
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To: Waryone
I do believe that Romney is fatally flawed with his performance as governor of Massachusetts. In order to deal with a liberal state house, he drifted Left. If he does get the nomination it will be very risky because the independents do not work for Republican candidates and the grass roots will not be inspired to work hard enough to overcome Zer0’s media machine.

I will be taking a hard look at him at the Washington State Republican Convention. He will be our featured speaker.

14 posted on 03/31/2010 6:32:41 PM PDT by jonrick46 (We're being water boarded with the sewage of Fabian Socialism.)
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To: jonrick46

Sorry but Romney did not drift left. He is left. He runs right when he’s running national. Father of 0bamacare, father of gay marriage, pro-choice, multiple choice, gun grabbing, lying statist phony that he is. I’ve known about his duplicitous behind for years. So don’t try to tell me that leftist monolith drifted anywhere.

Oh and don’t look too hard at your Convention. He will become whatever he has to become to get your support.

15 posted on 03/31/2010 6:50:29 PM PDT by Waryone
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To: Waryone

Thanks for the heads up. I know almost nothing about Romney. From your information, he is not only flawed, but fatal to the Republican Party. If we let Obama get reelected, game over not only for the Republicans, but for this nation.

16 posted on 03/31/2010 7:16:10 PM PDT by jonrick46 (We're being water boarded with the sewage of Fabian Socialism.)
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To: Diogenesis

Your post is very important because it gives many who do not really know who he is, a good look at what he has done.

17 posted on 03/31/2010 7:27:06 PM PDT by jonrick46 (We're being water boarded with the sewage of Fabian Socialism.)
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