Mitt Romney took responsibility for the passage of Obamacare on Friday, allowing that the health-care policy he enacted as Massachusetts governor paved the way for the national law.
Romney made the comment while praising his friend Thomas Stemberg, the Staples co-founder who passed away on Friday. “Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney told the Boston Globe. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee’s comment goes to the heart of why he struggled to rally the conservative base during that election’s primary season. Tea Party activists warned Romney as early as December of 2010 that his health care plan “absolutely [does] not pass muster with members.”
Throughout the campaign, he faulted Obama for imposing a “one-size-fits-all national health-care system” on the country. “[Obama] does me the great favor of saying that I was the inspiration of his plan,” Romney said at the time. “If that’s the case, why didn’t you call me? . . . Why didn’t you ask what was wrong? Why didn’t you ask if this was an experiment, what worked and what didn’t. . . . I would have told him, ‘What you’re doing, Mr. President, is going to bankrupt us.’”