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Mitt Romney says his health care plan in Mass. was a win for women (+video)

As the GOP Convention approaches, Mitt Romney said he was proud that his Massachusetts health care plan guaranteed coverage for women. He criticized President Obama for trying to tie him to Rep. Todd Akin's rape and abortion remarks.

By Brian BakstAssociated Press / August 26, 2012

The Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann walk into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Tampa, Fla.

Mitt Romney said it is "sad" that President Barack Obama's campaign is trying to link him to Rep. Todd Akin's statements about abortion, as top Republicans preparing for the party's nominating convention urged the GOP presidential challenger to reach out to women and Hispanics.

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The remarks came Sunday as Republicans descending on Florida prepared to cram four days of events into three because of the threat caused by the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Romney said that as Massachusetts governor, he had helped women by guaranteeing coverage for them — and men as well — by enacting that state's health care coverage legislation. Romney has pledged that as president he would repeal Obama's health care overhaul law — which is similar to the Massachusetts statute — but Romney said he was proud of that accomplishment.

Akin is the GOP Missouri Senate candidate who said women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy after a "legitimate" rape. Romney and other GOP leaders have criticized those statements and urged Akin to drop out of the Senate race.

Asked in an interview broadcast Sunday on "Fox News Sunday" about Obama campaign efforts to link Akin's remarks to Romney and other Republicans, Romney said, "It really is sad, isn't it, with all the issues that America faces for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level."

Romney said the controversy over Akin "hurts our party and I think is damaging to women."

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Romney must sell his message to women and Hispanics if he is to oust Obama in the November elections.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the GOP presidential candidate said Romney must convince women and Hispanics that "jobs and the economy are more important perhaps than other issues."

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