Mitt Romney won’t be apologizing for Romneycare in his health care speech Thursday. But he will be addressing it, according to a Romney aide.
“He’ll address it, but the main focus of the speech will be what his plans will be going forward,” the aide tells National Review Online.
The plan is that Romney will both deflect the Romneycare criticism and seize the lead in crafting policy solutions that address just how to replace Obamacare.
“What will be clear is that number one, he’s got the same position as every other 2012er when it comes to the repeal of Obamacare,” the aide says. “Secondly, he’ll be the first of those candidates to lay out his plan for replacing Obamacare with reforms that will lower costs, and put the states back in the driver’s seat.”
The Romney campaign is emphasizing that Romney’s health care position shouldn’t be seen as a radical departure from his position in 2008, but a continuation of his emphasis that the states, not the federal government, should decide what health care policies to pursue.
Another interesting angle: Romney may have skipped the South Carolina debate last week partly because he didn’t want to debate before delivering this speech. While Romney said at a New Hampshire forum late last month that he had been “hoping” to be asked about Obamacare, the Romney aide noted that the decision to give a speech on health care now allows Romney to address the issue “before he attends his first debate.”