Plouffe: Romney 'Godfather' of Obamacare

Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 10:17 AM

By Paul Scicchitano

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White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday labeled Mitt Romney the “godfather” of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Plouffe, running interference for Obamacare with appearances on four talk shows on the eve of Supreme Court arguments on the law, said the administration is “confident in the constitutionality” of President Obama’s signature legislation.

“By the way, Mitt Romney’s the godfather of our healthcare plan. If he’s president, remarkably, he’s running away from that past. And he’s going to say he’s going to try and throw all this away,” Plouffe declared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Special: Should Obama's Health Plan Be Overturned? Vote Here Now!

All of the GOP presidential candidates, including Romney, have pledged to fight for a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Obama signed into law in March of 2010.

Host David Gregory pressed Plouffe, saying, “Mitt Romney’s the godfather of the Obama healthcare plan — so will he get the credit if it all goes well down the line as well?”

Plouffe responded with a touch of sarcasm: “Well, maybe in 2016 — when he’s a professor somewhere or whatever he’s doing — he can remark on that. But I think that there’s no question that our healthcare plan — his experts were involved in it. It’s a model that was utilized.”

Plouffe also seized on the now widely reported Etch A Sketch gaffe by Romney aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, who said that Romney could simply hit a “reset button” during the fall campaign and everything would change like the iconic children’s toy.

“I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” Fehrnstrom said last week. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

Using the same metaphor, Plouffe said, “Here’s what’s etched in stone: Mitt Romney will cut taxes for people like him — huge tax cuts and [he] thinks somehow that’s the way to help the economy. He’ll add more to the deficit. He’ll try and outlaw abortion in this country. He doesn’t believe in a clean energy future.

“Criticize the president for ending the war in Iraq. Criticize us for having a timetable to end the war in Afghanistan. Those things are etched in stone,” Plouffe insisted. “They’re not going to be able to be erased and they’re going to be seared in the public consciousness by this November. So there’s big differences.”

Plouffe added that Romney is “quite unfavorably viewed right now heading into the general election,” but he said that the bigger problem is that Romney is offering “the wrong solutions to the American people.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Plouffe also said the administration is confident the law will stand the constitutional test.

Special: Should Obama's Health Plan Be Overturned? Vote Here Now!

"The mandate is an idea supported by the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, most famously . . . the godfather of the mandate, Mitt Romney. So we're confident that it will be upheld," Plouffe said told host George Stephanopoulos.

"Now, as it relates to the Supreme Court, we're confident that it's going to be upheld. You had Democratic and Republican jurists upheld it in lower court decisions, including two very prominent conservative jurists," Plouffe said.

Asked why the law is so reviled, Plouffe said hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent attacking it and that the major benefits won't kick in until 2014.

"We just have to tell the story of this," he said. "One thing I am confident of: By the end of this decade, we are going to be very glad the Republicans termed this Obamacare because, when the reality of healthcare is in place, it will be nothing like the kind of fear mongering that was done."


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