Mitt Romney knows a thing or two aboot bi-partisan health care reform, what with the fact that he passed it in Massachusetts working with Ted Kennedy (yes, that Ted Kennedy). That’s not to say that it’s not without some criticism (Romney defends it here and here) and while it hasn’t brought now costs as expected, it’s hardly his fault that the bill was passed in time for current Gov. Deval Patrick to get elected and make a mess of it (and apparently the state as a whole from what I’m hearing).
So when the Democrats who control the house, the senate, the white House, NBC News, the New York Times – really, everything outside of Fox News – start to say they can’t pass the bill because Republicans won’t just shut up and do what they’re told are being “obstructionist,” that’s usually the cue for Mitt to make the rounds on the news programs…
“He decided he would hand this over to [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and the House,” Romney, who ran a failed bid for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2008, said on CBS’ “The Early Show” Thursday. “He did not fashion his own bill with the measures that he thought were critical for the bill. And the House has created something which is, frankly, entirely partisan. It’s not the kind of bipartisanship which the president promised he’d bring to Washington.”
“He’s campaigning, which is what he does best. He continues to campaign, but what we really need now is leadership from the president that works in a bipartisan basis to fashion a bill that improves our healthcare system that gets people insured, and make sure we don’t have folks losing insurance if they lose their job.”
Romney insisted that plans for a public option should be ditched, saying “you don’t want the government getting in the business of insurance.” In 2006, while Romney was governor, Massachusetts passed a universal health care bill without a public option. The plan has come under fire for not containing costs, but Romney defended the plan as being within budget projections.
I like how Romney has been playing 2009 so far this year. He’s been staying back, doing the occasional interview on the economy, and most importantly, staying out of the petty bickering that’s been going on. When he speaks, he comes across as a statesman and a grown-up.
Of course, I’m sure that’s all going to change next March when his book “No Apologies” comes out. That’ll be when he starts to give speeches while his six sons stand off stage and throw chunks of raw meat into the audience. But for now, this is the Republican leader we need to be seeing.