On this week's Fox News Sunday, former Mitt Romney spokesman, Kevin Madden does his best to put a positive spin on the fact that his former boss is going to get attacked for passing his health care plan in Massachusetts which was used as a model for President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
The best Madden can come up with... this was good for Massachusetts and the individual mandate was alright for that state, but now that the evil, big-government, Socialist Obama has adopted it, it's a bad thing for the entire country to have it, or something like that anyway. As Juan Williams pointed out, it's a pretty hard sell convincing people that something was good for a state but now simply because it applies to more people, it's a bad idea or some kind of "government intrusion" on their lives. I don't think most Americans are going to buy it either. Good old "Multiple-Choice" Mitt is going to have a hard time with this during the campaign.
Transcript via Fox News:
WALLACE: Kevin, your man, or your former man, Mitt Romney, announced his exploratory committee. Has he -- and by all lights, he should be the frontrunner, I think it's fair to say -- money, organization from last time, certainly going to run, which some of the others aren't necessarily going to do.
Has he figured out how to deal with what most people consider to be the big chink in his armor -- and that is, Romneycare, the health care plan in Massachusetts, which had an individual mandate much like Obamacare?
MADDEN: Well, I think, first of all, the frontrunner status is one that's usually arrived at by formula. But I think this field right now, as we see in that poll, is very unsettled.
I think on the question of how he's going to run, how he's going to handle health care, I think the best way to describe it is that he's going to confront it. I think it's clearly going to be an issue in this campaign, but I don't think it's going to be the only issue. But it's clearly going to be something that, as we look to contrast ourselves with other folks in the -- seeking the Republican nomination, and seek to contrast yourself with President Obama, it's certainly going to be something that's important to many voters.
WALLACE: Let me just interrupt. When you say he is going to confront it -- because, before, he said some things worked, some things didn't, or this was a state experiment, it wasn't a federal plan -- the principle, which is, I think, what most people that are concerned about and are concerned about, is that he supported an individual mandate.
Is he going to sit there and say, I defend the principle of an individual mandate?
MADDEN: I think the question has to be, do you defend it -- how is it that you decided to drive costs and get more -- and provide more access in your particular state? So, an individual mandate was the best way to reach that with a unique health care population in Massachusetts, a unique health care population of seven million. But the mistake, and where the Obama plan went wrong, was that it tried to apply a federal standard with an individual mandate to over 300 million. And I think that's an important distinction.
Now, there are a lot of people that will say, well, that's not going to sell with many voters, but it's important because it's true. I think, then, you have to move on to health care debate, which is, where are we going in the future? How are we going to drive down cost? How are we going to get greater access going forward?Clearly, Obamacare is not going to drive down costs. It's shown that it's been a great expansion of government power, and what we're seeing is, because of the taxes and regulations, we are seeing higher prices. So that's going to be where the debate focuses -- where do we go in future?
WALLACE: Juan, has brother Kevin persuaded you that Romney doesn't have a problem?
MADDEN: He was taking notes.
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, Kevin is a good political strategist. That's why he is so successful. But, I mean, it's just a hard sell. You know?
I mean, basically, the Massachusetts plan is exactly what Obama's health care reform prescription has been. It's on a state level, so Kevin and Mitt Romney--
MADDEN: But isn't that an important distinction?
WILLIAMS: Well, he was running a state. President Obama is running a nation.
MADDEN: Right. But why would you apply something that works for one unique health care population of seven million people to 300 million? That would be a mistake, wouldn't it?
WILLIAMS: Because -- in other words, in fact, President Obama has said he learned from the Massachusetts plan in trying to draft the national health care --
MADDEN: But what's right for Massachusetts is not necessarily right for other states.
WILLIAMS: Well, let me just say --
MADDEN: That's an important distinction.