Politics & Policy

Pawlenty Won’t Criticize Romney

Tim Pawlenty decided not to criticize Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan yesterday. From The Hill’s Christian Heinze:

“I think Mitt Romney is the best person to address the Romney approach to healthcare. I can tell you the approach I took in Minnesota, and we took a different approach, and my vision for healthcare in the country is to make it more affordable – not by bringing it to government … but to empower consumers,” he told Fox News.

Pawlenty’s refusal to criticize Romney’s healthcare plan is a relatively new development. In 2009, Pawlenty sharply criticized the plan in a series of media appearances, where he claimed the program led to the “most expensive healthcare in the country” and levied a “huge new tax structure.”

That was the same tack Pawlenty took in the debate earlier this month. Asked about Romney’s health care plan, Pawlenty responded, ““Governor Romney’s not here to defend himself, so I’m not going to pick on him or the positions he took in Massachusetts.” But later in the debate, he apologized for his previous support for cap-and-trade and, in a shot at Romney’s refusal to back down on supporting Romneycare, said “You’re going to have a few clunkers in your record, and we all do, and that’s one of mine. I just admit it. I don’t try to duck it, bob it, weave it, try to explain it away. I’m just telling you, I made a mistake.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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