Mitt Romney tries to explain ‘RomneyCare.’ Will it work?
Speaking to Republican activists in New Hampshire, likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed a major challenge: The health care program he took credit for as governor of Massachusetts. Critics say it's a lot like "ObamaCare."
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Other contestants for the GOP presidential nomination see – and are trying to take advantage of – Romney’s vulnerability here.Skip to next paragraph
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In his new book “A Simple Government,” Mike Huckabee writes: “If our goal in health-care reform is better care at lower cost, then we should take a lesson from RomneyCare, which shows that socialized medicine does not work.”
“He’s got to figure out how he wants to deal with it,” Huckabee told the Associated Press. “It’s the 800-pound elephant in the room for him.”
Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, and Tim Pawlenty all have sniped at Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan as well. (Huckabee and Gingich have their own problems, highlighted in a hard-hitting piece Sunday by conservative columnist George Will.)
Romney knows he has to change his image and message here.
Some chunks that were in the hardback edition are removed, some provisions of the Massachusetts law are blamed on the Democratically-controlled legislature there and on Gov. Deval Patrick, and the differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare are more strongly emphasized.
It’s no laughing matter for his political future, particularly among conservative activists – the ones most likely to vote in primary elections – picking their champion for 2012. A new Gallup poll of regular Fox News viewers has Romney behind Huckabee by a whisker.
But in New Hampshire Saturday night, Romney tried to put a humorous spin on his predicament.