Debate: Pawlenty Backs Off Romney 'Obamneycare' Tag

Monday, 13 Jun 2011 09:16 PM

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Tim Pawlenty backed off his “Obamneycare” quip when standing on a stage with fellow-GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney at Monday’s first Republican debate.

Moderator John King tried to press the former Minnesota governor to repeat the word. “If it was Obamneycare on Fox News Sunday, then why is it not Obamneycare with the governor standing right there?” he asked.

Pawlenty replied, “I just cited President Obama’s own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed Obamacare,” the former Minnesota governor said at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

When pressed further, he added that Obama said the Massachusetts plan was for the national healthcare plan. “Using the term Obamneycare was a reflection of the President’s comments that he designed Obamacare on the Massachusetts healthcare plan.”

For his part, Romney made it clear that the plan he enacted while Governor of Massachusetts had only a passing similarity to Obamacare.

“Ours was a state plan, a state solution, and if people don’t like it in our state, they can change it. That’s the nature of why states are the right place for this type of responsibility,” he said.

“That’s why I introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a state-centered program.”

And Romney said he “can’t wait” to debate the president on heathcare. “I’ll say ‘If in fact you did look at what we did in Massachusetts, why didn’t you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn’t?’

“I would have told you, Mr. President, that what you are doing will not work. It’s a huge power grab by the federal government... It’s wrong for America and that’s why there is an outpouring across the nation to say no to Obamacare.”

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