Mitt Romney insists he is not going to turn his back on the state healthcare plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts even if it hurts his chances of becoming president.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Romney said the plan is popular in the state and working well. But he is adamantly opposed to expanding it and says one of his first acts in the White House will be to start on a repeal of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.
He also has harsh words for his GOP political rival Rick Perry and believes President Barack Obama's much-ballyhooed jobs plan is nothing more than "bluster."
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But he won't concede any errors on his own signature heatlhcare legislation in Massachusetts, which many of the GOP presidential contenders consider the model for Obamacare.
“The truth is that the people of Massachusetts like the plan there, it’s still favored three-to-one,” Romney said. “The plan works pretty well for those individuals that weren’t insured, that are now able to get insurance.
Individuals are able to buy insurance at lower rates than they used to be able to before the law was passed.
“It’s not perfect… but it was a step forward and I’m simply not going to abandon the truth for political purpose.
“Frankly, if helping the people of my state hurts my political prospects, so be it.”
Romney said that soon after the Massachusetts law was passed he was asked whether he would support a similar national law.
“I think it was Dan Balz at the Washington Post, who said ‘Mitt, if you were president, would you put in place your plan for the entire nation at the federal level?’ I said, ‘Absolutely not.’
“Ours was a state solution to a state problem. It dealt with the 8 percent of our population that didn’t have insurance. For the 92 percent of our population that already had insurance, nothing changed.
“The president’s plan is a federal takeover of all healthcare for 100 percent of the people.
“His plan is unacceptable to the American people, it’s bad law, it’s bad policy, it’s unconstitutional and on Day One of my administration I’ll direct the secretary of health and human services to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states and then I’ll go about getting it repealed.”
Romney took plenty of swipes at Rick Perry his main opponent in the race for the Republican nomination, especially on immigration.
“Gov. Perry and I have very different views on illegal immigration. He said in a letter to the editor that he was open to amnesty. He opposes a fence, He’s also opposed the Arizona law and says states shouldn’t be able to enforce federal immigration policy. He put in place one of the magnets that draw people here illegally, which is giving in-state tuition credits to illegals.
“I did just the opposite and have an entirely different view.
“I believe in building a fence. I believe in having enough border patrol agents to secure that fence. I believe in turning off the magnet. I’d go after employers that hire people who are here illegally.
“When a bill reached my desk, like the bill Gov. Perry signed which gave tuition breaks to illegal aliens… in Massachusetts, I vetoed it and I was able to convince enough legislators to stand with me to uphold my veto.”
And when asked whether the Department of Homeland Security had brought in the provisions of the DREAM Act through the backdoor, Romney replied, “We clearly have to have people enforce the law in this country and the federal government has failed to enforce immigration law through a whole series of missteps on their part.
“One of the most flagrant is having an open border without a fence, having insufficient border patrol agents, having states in the case of Texas and others provide in-state tuition breaks to illegals. That makes absolutely no sense at all.”
On jobs, Romney stressed his seven-point plan, which he claims will get America working again.
“We have to change the attitude that exists in government,” he said. “There’s a perception in government that somehow business is bad, that you’ve got to punish successful people, that enterprise needs to be reined in and checked.
“Government has to recognize that their job is to make America the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, innovators, pioneers, job creators.
“We have to have seven things done differently: taxes that are competitive with the world; regulation that’s modern and up to date; trade policies that open new markets to American goods; energy policies that get us energy independent and energy secure; the rule of law which means not giving organized labor what they want and tilting the playing field away from the law that’s been established; great institutions of learning, schools, higher education, immigration policies that bring in the best and brightest; and finally a government that doesn’t consistently spend more money than it takes in.
“You get those seven things right – and that’s what I’ll do as president – and America becomes a job creating machine like it has been in the past.”
Romney described Obama’s new American Jobs Act as “a lot of money, a lot of political bluster but very little positive impact on the economy.
“You’ve seen a resounding rejection on the part of not just Republicans but a lot of Democrats who recognize that what he’s doing is not going to be successful in Congress and frankly not going to be successful for the American people.”
He also said that the president’s green jobs initiatives have not only created very few green jobs, but they have cost jobs in other areas as well.
“The right course for America is not to have the government try to guide the economy.
“The right course for America is to believe in the American entrepreneur, the American innovator, the American businessperson and to make America a more free, more positive place for enterprise to invest and grow.”
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