DeMint kinda sorta defends Romney on RomneyCare, but not really

posted at 6:29 pm on March 17, 2011 by Allahpundit

The most interesting thing about this story isn’t DeMint’s original comments, which are quite tame, but rather the fact that his allies were sufficiently alarmed to reach out to The Hill and produce a quick follow-up article walking them back. So toxic is RomneyCare, apparently, that even Senator Tea Party isn’t willing to handle it without a thick layer of protective rhetoric. How on earth does Mitt win a primary when that’s the case? Even the “true conservative” Superman can’t get near this kryptonite without losing his powers.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) “would never consider” endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president again in 2012 unless Romney repudiates the health reforms he sought as governor, a source close to DeMint said Thursday…

“It’s obvious Jim was just trying to be nice to the guy he backed over McCain, as many conservatives did in 2008,” the source said. “But he would never consider backing Romney again unless he admits that his Massachusetts healthcare plan was a colossal mistake.”…

DeMint [originally] said:

“One of the reasons I endorsed Romney is his attempts to make private health insurance available at affordable prices. He set the goal that all folks in Massachusetts would have affordable health insurance. By the time it got through the Democratic state legislature, it had all these mandates on it, requirements about what kind of policies would be bought — the same thing that happened up here — instead of getting people insured, it was a government takeover. So I applaud the goal — my goal is to have every American with a private health insurance plan that they can keep throughout their lives. And so, I still admire him for taking on the task, but I think it’s important to recognize that that’s not where we want our healthcare to go. States can compete with different plans, but we shouldn’t have anything like what they did in Massachusetts at the federal level.”

He’s not endorsing the mandate in RomneyCare, he’s just shifting the blame for it from Mitt himself to the Massachusetts legislature. Which, of course, will be Romney’s argument when this comes up in the primaries, along with the boilerplate about federalism and how we shouldn’t have one-size-fits-all health care for 50 different states. Two problems with DeMint’s defense, though. One: Romney knew what he was getting into when he started pushing universal care in the bluest of blue states. New entitlements are born, and then inevitably they grow, especially if they have lots of Democratic “nurses” tending to them. To say that the mandate wasn’t his idea doesn’t excuse that lack of foresight.

Two: Romney hasn’t been shy in the past about defending the mandate. From the Philip Klein piece linked above:

Romney helped craft the basic architecture of the health care plan, and pursued it even though he knew that he was working with an overwhelming Democratic legislature who he knew would override his symbolic line-item vetoes of parts of his bill. He signed the bill with Ted Kennedy at his side, and did so knowing he wasn’t seeking reelection and that it would almost certainly fall on a Democratic governor to implement it. After signing it, Romney did a victory lap — boasting of his accomplishment in a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled, “Health Care for Everyone? We Found a Way.” He defended it throughout his last run for president. In a 2007 interview with Fox during his campaign, he said, “We found a way to get everybody in our state, Massachusetts, insured. I like the plan. I think it’s one of the best things we did in my administration.” He’s defended the individual mandate for years on conservative grounds, using the “responsibility” argument that was adopted by Democrats. He even declared in one GOP debate “I like mandates.” So it is simply ignorant to portray Romney as an innocent bystander and blame everything on Democrats.

Romney’s tried to distinguish between federal mandates and state mandates at times, but even that doesn’t really work. For one thing, the right’s objection to being forced to buy insurance doesn’t derive from federalism but from antipathy to government coercion generally. A state legislature handing you a list of things you have to buy wouldn’t fly any better (well, maybe slightly better) than the feds doing it. And as Klein notes, Romney has defended the mandate in the past, even if he wasn’t the guy who came up with the idea. Here’s the video of that “I like mandates” quote to which Klein refers, part of a lovely little highlight reel the DNC dropped on Mitt last year. The key part comes at 45 seconds in. Listen to the question closely, as Romney seems to embrace not just the mandate in RomneyCare but mandates generally — including, perhaps, at the national level. Think you’ll see any Tim Pawlenty ads showcasing this clip?


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swamp_yankee on March 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I am not interested in the “I used to like Palin, but her supporters are so annoying it made me not like Palin” line. If it’s true then you didn’t like her for the right reasons and/or you are too influenced by the mockery of your peers.

alwaysfiredup on March 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Palin’s numbers are abyssmal and they can look in the mirror.

Yeah, I secret Palin basher and Romney troll:

http://www.redstate.com/swamp_yankee/2008/11/21/sarah-palins-praetorian-guard/

swamp_yankee on March 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I follow leaders, not polls. If you honestly feel that way, then good luck; you deserve another four years of Obama, douchebag.

gryphon202 on March 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM

I am not interested in the “I used to like Palin, but her supporters are so annoying it made me not like Palin” line. If it’s true then you didn’t like her for the right reasons and/or you are too influenced by the mockery of your peers.

alwaysfiredup on March 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Or he might just be another “seminar commenter.”

gryphon202 on March 17, 2011 at 10:16 PM

The MA legislature was overwhelmingly Democrat. There’s not much a governor can do if his veto gets overridden.

Hollowpoint on March 17, 2011 at 6:54 PM

All the fool had to do was REFUSE TO SIGN AND FORCE THE OVERRIDE.

But he signed the damned thing with Teddy Kennedy. That finished him for good.

dogsoldier on March 17, 2011 at 10:22 PM

The funny thing is that I used to be a strong Palin supporter…
swamp_yankee on March 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Yes, funny.

rrpjr on March 17, 2011 at 10:34 PM

gryphon202 on March 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Government is the problem because of demands placed on insurers which raise costs, the lack of freedom to cross state lines, and so forth, but you’re dreaming if you think that government can stay out of the insurance biz altogether with no regulatory role.

You are incredibly presumptuous with your assumptions about me and have leaped to extraordinarily wrong conclusions. I have not once stated that I believe pre-existing condition clauses should be forbidden. I’ve merely stated that politicians have made it a priority, but it’s not easy to find a solution that doesn’t include universal coverage mandates or federal dollars to cover the costs of high risk pools. Before you attack me for being a Lib who wants a welfare state, do note that Tom Price proposed the high risk pool solution for the Republican Study Group.

Buy Danish on March 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM

You have not made an argument based on the merits of the law, you based them on your opinion. You can vote based on your opinion, but your arguments would get laughed out of any state or federal court.

Uh, yeah. Voting is what I’m talking about. Opinion is all you need in judging a presidential candidate, snookums.

Just because you don’t “see” a difference between state and federal mandates does not make it so. After that idiotic introduction you proceeded to make the false claim that they are both the same.

Buy Danish on March 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I didn’t say both programs are the same. I said they both have the same philosophical underpinnings, and that neither is “conservative”. Prove me wrong.

ddrintn on March 17, 2011 at 10:58 PM

ddrintn on March 17, 2011 at 10:58 PM

It can be argued that Judaism and Christianity have the same “philosophical underpinnings” but they’re very different, wouldn’t you agree?

Gots to go.

Buy Danish on March 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Every time this subject comes up, I find it amazing that nobody, and I do mean nobody can distinguish between health care and health insurance.

Health care is everything from eating right and exercising to receiving major surgery, that one does to maintain one’s health. In practice, necessary health care is already provided to everyone who needs it, even if they cannot pay for it.

Health insurance is when one gives specified regular payments to a third party in exchange for the promise that the third party will pay certain medical bills. You pay for that whether you have medical bills or not. The insurer makes money only as long as no actual health care services are provided.

Without exception, every time someone talks about health care reform, what they really mean is they want to receive an infinite amount of health insurance completely free of charge. Good luck with that.

underdog on March 17, 2011 at 11:59 PM

It can be argued that Judaism and Christianity have the same “philosophical underpinnings” but they’re very different, wouldn’t you agree?

Gots to go.

Buy Danish on March 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Not as strikingly different as you seem to think ObamaCare and RomneyCare are. Nope. Try again.

ddrintn on March 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM

All the fool had to do was REFUSE TO SIGN AND FORCE THE OVERRIDE.

But he signed the damned thing with Teddy Kennedy. That finished him for good.

dogsoldier on March 17, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Another huge difference between ObamaCare and RomneyCare – it was open and transparent, due process was followed, and the the people enthusiatically supported it.

There are 200 members of the MA legislature. Two people voted against RomneyCare.

What do you think forcing an override would have done? Put Dems on the spot. It would have made them look like heroes and made Romney look like a big *sshole. It was a fete accompli whether it was Shannon O’Brien, Deval Patrick or Romney.

And who cares if Kennedy was there. That is customary at bill signings. Most politicians do that. Oh my God, Romney had his picture taken with Kennedy, a Massachusetts legend and icon. What a stupid complaint.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM

And who cares if Kennedy was there. That is customary at bill signings. Most politicians do that. Oh my God, Romney had his picture taken with Kennedy, a Massachusetts legend and icon. What a stupid complaint.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM

Only if you think it’s irrelevant to Romney seeking the highest office in the land, with its attendant control over federal coffers.

gryphon202 on March 18, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Only if you think it’s irrelevant to Romney seeking the highest office in the land, with its attendant control over federal coffers.

gryphon202 on March 18, 2011 at 12:15 AM

You win the award for the dumbest comment of the night.

Thanks for providing a perfect example of the hysterics that I am talking about. Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, took a picture with Kennedy, the Senator from Massachusetts, and that makes him unfit to be president.

Batsh*t crazy.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/59229367.html

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Thanks for providing a perfect example of the hysterics that I am talking about. Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, took a picture with Kennedy, the Senator from Massachusetts, and that makes him unfit to be president.

Batsh*t crazy.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/59229367.html

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Um, no…it wasn’t the picture that Romney took with Kennedy. It was the signing ceremony for a socialized medicine system that Romney invited Kennedy to, knowing full well it was Kennedy’s cause celebre.

If you choose to ignore this in your choice of a presidential primary vote, that’s your business. I’d kind of like to reverse the damage that Obama has done instead of slowing it down to pre-2008 levels.

gryphon202 on March 18, 2011 at 12:47 AM

I’d kind of like to reverse the damage that Obama has done instead of slowing it down to pre-2008 levels.

You want to reverse the damage Obama has done, but are not content with reversing it to pre-2008 levels?

I wasn’t aware he acommplished that much before 2008 as Senator. I’m not all that concerned with reversing what Obama accomplished as a state senator and U.S. Senator.

I’m concerned with reversing what he did as president and every single candidate has pedged to repeal ObamaCare, including Romney.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 1:16 AM

RINO Republican trys to sell big government program by calling it conservative? Silly RINO, tricks are for kids. Nice try Mitt, but go sell Romneycare somewhere else.

Done That on March 18, 2011 at 6:30 AM

I’m concerned with reversing what he did as president and every single candidate has pedged to repeal ObamaCare, including Romney.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Okay. That’s wonderful. Who in their right mind would NOT run on reversing what Obama did? All I’m saying is that spending and erosion of freedom were problems looooong before Obama came on the scene. And that’s why I’m not a member of the “anyone but Obama” crowd.

Romney has a credibility problem with me because he is a socialized medicine advocate. There’s no way to gloss that over, even assuming that he is telling the truth (and I have my doubts).

gryphon202 on March 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

and the the people enthusiatically supported it.
swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM

You are obviously a liberal. No the people did not support it, but the socialists running Mass rammed it through.

Seeing Kennedy there beaming made a lot of folks nauseous.

Scott Brown signaled the beginning of the end of socialist domination in Mass as do the recent elections in NH and Maine to all conservative.

The people, the like actual people have had enough liberal manure to last them for years.

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Oh and there was nothing open and transparent about it. Half of that stuff got larded on in beacon hill back rooms. You ain’t really from around heah are ya?

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM

You are obviously a liberal. No the people did not support it, but the socialists running Mass rammed it through.

Seeing Kennedy there beaming made a lot of folks nauseous.

Scott Brown signaled the beginning of the end of socialist domination in Mass as do the recent elections in NH and Maine to all conservative.

The people, the like actual people have had enough liberal manure to last them for years.

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I think we need to put a canard to rest today. The people may always get what they vote for, but that doesn’t mean they always get what they want, or even what they expect.

gryphon202 on March 18, 2011 at 10:50 AM

ddrintn on March 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Why don’t you tell us what the similarities are (other than the mandate)? Please feel free to use the handy dandy chart I linked to earlier as a guide and the 179 federal agencies which were created. I’m too busy thinking about converting to Judaism since you’ve informed me that it’s not very different from Christianity.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

You are obviously a liberal. No the people did not support it, but the socialists running Mass rammed it through.

Seeing Kennedy there beaming made a lot of folks nauseous.

Scott Brown signaled the beginning of the end of socialist domination in Mass as do the recent elections in NH and Maine to all conservative.

The people, the like actual people have had enough liberal manure to last them for years.

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I am liberal. More hysterics.

And the “socialists” rammed it through with a 198-2 vote, and in the following elections there was no turnover. Brilliant analysis. By the way, the majority of Republicans in the House and Senate supported the bill just like Jim DeMint. Socialists!!!

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I am liberal. More hysterics.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

LOL, says is all. Your recollection of events is incorrect at best. Nice try though.

We don’t call it the “Peoples Republic” and Taxachusetts for nothing.

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 1:52 PM

LOL, says is all. Your recollection of events is incorrect at best. Nice try though.

We don’t call it the “Peoples Republic” and Taxachusetts for nothing.

dogsoldier on March 18, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Not incorrect. Facts. I’ve been a member of a local Republican committee in Massachusetts for 16 years and started my own PAC here.

And your response makes no sense. You make fun of it for being the People Repubilc of Taxachusetts, and yetassume Romney Care played out like ObamaCare, and it was forced down their throat. Are the people liberal and aren’t they liberal.

Fact:

Passed Senate 40 – and every Republican voted for it.
Passed House 158-2

Its still polls high today, and people dont want it repealed.

Dont project the ObamaCare battle onto Massachusetts. People are making assumption and they look stupid.

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 2:58 PM

If conservatives Republicans enacted real reforms, ObamaCare would have been pre-empted. Obama and Dems could never have exploited the issue in 2008. But conservatives Republicans did nothing, but convince themselves the system was fine.

swamp_yankee on March 17, 2011 at 8:08 PM

FIFY. We haven’t had conservatives in charge for a very, very long time. While Reagan was a conservative, the legislature wasn’t. You point out the perfect reason TEA Partiers have been working to purge RINOs from the party… so we can address real problems with real solutions.

Its our time, coming soon…

dominigan on March 18, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Why don’t you tell us what the similarities are (other than the mandate)? Please feel free to use the handy dandy chart I linked to earlier as a guide and the 179 federal agencies which were created.

The only difference must be the number of different agencies created. Wow.

I’m too busy thinking about converting to Judaism since you’ve informed me that it’s not very different from Christianity.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

No, you see, you’re not playing your own game very well. Christianity and Judaism share, let’s see, monotheism inseparable from a strong sense of ethics — not to mention the Hebrew Scriptures. If you were wanting to draw a stark contrast, it would be between things like Christianity and nihilism, or Judaism and Marxism. Now apply the differences between those to the stark differences you see between ObamaCare and RomneyCare. Good luck.

ddrintn on March 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

ddrintn on March 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

You’re right. They not only share the same philosophical underpinnings as Abrahamic religions, they’re practically the same with such teeny weeny differences, like, the divinity of Christ. Nothing major. Why do we even bother with, say, Easter? We should just merge (along with Islam) and be done with it./

As for the actual topic at hand, you don’t “see” the “stark differences” (your words) in law between an unconstitutional federal program and a constitutional state program – which speak to a basic premise of how our Republic operates. If you can’t acknowledge those differences it’s futile to continue.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

You’re right. They not only share the same philosophical underpinnings as Abrahamic religions, they’re practically the same with such teeny weeny differences, like, the divinity of Christ. Nothing major. Why do we even bother with, say, Easter? We should just merge (along with Islam) and be done with it./

Maybe you should be a little more careful in choosing your analogies. I said the philosophical underpinnings of all the Abrahamic faiths are quite similar. They’re not so far apart as to save comparison of your heroes pet health care project from Obama’s by means of that analogy.

As for the actual topic at hand, you don’t “see” the “stark differences” (your words) in law between an unconstitutional federal program and a constitutional state program – which speak to a basic premise of how our Republic operates. If you can’t acknowledge those differences it’s futile to continue.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

I see that the same friggin’ statist mentality pervades both. Period.

ddrintn on March 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

swamp_yankee on March 18, 2011 at 2:58 PM

You seem to have a hard time distinguishing between the political class and the average voter. Much of what you are saying is incorrect. I suppose all the people calling in to Howie Carr’s radio program live somewhere else.

The pols in mass routinely rule against the will of the people, take for example the seat belt law. You libs had to resurrect that beast three times and finally rammed that through too although no one in your state wanted it.

I only know regular folks on the ground there and no one likes Romneycare. If you have a poll from mass that says otherwise I would surmise it was conducted in Cambridge.

dogsoldier on March 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

You seem to have a hard time distinguishing between the political class and the average voter. Much of what you are saying is incorrect. I suppose all the people calling in to Howie Carr’s radio program live somewhere else.

The pols in mass routinely rule against the will of the people, take for example the seat belt law. You libs had to resurrect that beast three times and finally rammed that through too although no one in your state wanted it.

I only know regular folks on the ground there and no one likes Romneycare. If you have a poll from mass that says otherwise I would surmise it was conducted in Cambridge.

dogsoldier on March 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Dogsoldier,

You mean all those “regular folks” who voted for Deval Patrick, Suzanne Bump and Steve Grossman?

You mean all those “regular folks” who re-elected every single Democratic Congressman including Barney Frank? 10 Democratic hacks ran, 10 Democratic hacks won.

You mean all the “regular folks” who did not elect one new Republican state senator?

Get out from under your rock. Anecdotal evidence is so stupid. A tiny fraction of the electorate listens to Howie Carr. A tiny fraction.

Romney’s health care bill had broad support. Its just a fact. You cant re-write history anymore than you can pretend Republicans didnt get spanked during a year with a red wave.

swamp_yankee on March 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

By the way, we started the year with 5 senators out of 40.

Now we have 4 senators out of 40. We actually lost a seat.

Those are all your “regular folks” listening to Howie Carr electing all those Democrats, right?

swamp_yankee on March 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

You mean all those “regular folks” who re-elected every single Democratic Congressman including Barney Frank? 10 Democratic hacks ran, 10 Democratic hacks won.

You mean all the “regular folks” who did not elect one new Republican state senator?

Get out from under your rock. Anecdotal evidence is so stupid. A tiny fraction of the electorate listens to Howie Carr. A tiny fraction.

swamp_yankee on March 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Incorrect yet again. Bawney didn’t win so much as the other guy lost becuase he was a poor candidate and that showed clearly in his acceptance speech. Patrick didn’t really win either.

Remember more people stood outside in the cold to see Scott Brown than Obamessiah and Marcia Marcia Marcia could DRAG into HALF a middle school gym. The lopsided counts at the events was staggering and embarrassing to the libs and marked a turning point.

If Mass was as liberal as you claim it to be, they would have flocked to see the Won. But they didn’t, did they?

It’s a well known problem that Mass can’t or wont field decent conservative candidates, but when they get something close the votes choose them over the socialists every time.

dogsoldier on March 20, 2011 at 8:11 AM

That’s such a laughable comment. I cant keep up with this stupidy.

Massachusetts will vote for decent conservatives every time. Yeah right. You ignore the entire 2010 cycle, and go back to Scott Brown, which was the anomoly.

By the way, he is more liberal than Romney and voted for RomneyCare, and supports RomneyCare. And this thread started about RomneyCare, and we have come full circle. The decent conservative, as you call him, was a RomneyCare backer, which was my original point that it had broad based support in Mass. Thank you for validating my point.

swamp_yankee on March 20, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Romney Care is a bust. Romney should be the first to admit it and move on. His campaign can be built around admitting he was wrong about the economics and effectiveness of it. A grand experiment that soured in the test tube.

kens on March 21, 2011 at 8:44 AM

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