Eek. I’m torn: Should I be impressed by his bold embrace of his own past mistakes and by his refusal to pretend he’s something he’s not? Or should I fear for the correctness of the thesis statement I set about trying to prove this morning — that Mitt Romney would, at least, be a reliable repealer of Obamacare?
Either way, Romney said what he said. In an interview with Neil Cavuto, Romney stood by his signature mistake. Incidentally, that Romney sat for an in-depth interview with Cavuto requires me to take back my peevish accusation that Romney “won’t sit for an actually difficult interview any day any time any network.” Cavuto strikes me as friendly, but firm and fair. And his line of questioning clearly elicited a string of meaningful quotes.
NRO’s Katrina Trinko reports:
“You have seen a lot of candidates look at their biggest vulnerability, call it a mistake, and ask for forgiveness,” Romney continued. “In my case that wouldn’t be honest.”
He affirmed that he believes the health-care program was the “right thing” for Massachusetts then, although he conceded that it hasn’t “worked perfectly.”
“If it hurts me politically, it’s a consequence of the truth,” Romney added. “I am not going to walk away from that. It’s right for states to come up with their own solutions. I doubt other people are going try and follow the one we put together. Maybe learn from our experience. Maybe come up with something better. But the wrong course is to have the federal government impose its will on the entire nation.”
That last statement is somewhat reassuring, but, to my earlier post, commenter “a capella” brought up a good point. Romney has said he would issue an executive order to delay the implementation of Obamacare in the 50 states — “a waiver,” he always says — but he hasn’t detailed his plan for full repeal. How much pressure would he place on the new Congress (which will have to be in the hands of the GOP to make any of this relevant anyway!) to ensure that repeal would be the first legislative priority they’d tackle?
Time to build pressure for that. No way we’ll give him the nomination unless he acknowledges that the only way to eliminate Obamacare once and for all is to ensure that Congress passes a repeal bill and the president signs it. Even now, when jobs and the economy so dominate the storyline, he needs to outline clearly that he’ll work with Congress to ensure a repeal bill is the first he’ll sign into law as president. Newsflash for all the candidates (and especially Obama!): A repeal bill might just be the best jobs bill around.