A funny catch by Philip Klein. The goodie bags handed out at the GOP convention contained an earlier edition of Mitt Romney’s book that talked about Romneycare as a model for the nation, before subsequent editions edited all that inconvenient stuff out:
TAMPA — All credentialed media checking into the Republican National Convention are being given a swag bag featuring brochures and items from various sponsors such as sunglasses and a pocket fan. But the bag also contains a copy of the original hardcover version of Mitt Romney’s book No Apology, in which he suggested his approach to health care in Massachusetts could be accomplished in the rest of the country.
The allusion was later altered for the paperback version of the book, a change that became a contentious issue during the Republican primary.
On page 177 of the hardcover version of No Apology that’s being given out at the RNC, Romney describes his Massachusetts health care law, and writes: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care.”
This is just a silly oversight, of course, but the mere fact that it’s being discussed on the right today is itself significant: It’s a reminder that conservatives simply don’t trust Romney.
Indeed, the screw-up comes within a larger context: As far as the Romney campaign is concerned, Romneycare is back. On Fox News yesterday, Romney pushed back on Dem claims that he would set back women’s health by arguing: “With regards to women’s health care, look, I’m the guy that was about to get health care for all of the women and men in my state.”
This isn’t the only time in recent weeks that the Romney campaign has reminded voters of his efforts to pass a universal health care bill. As you may recall, the Romney campaign recently pushed back on that Priorities USA ad implying he was responsible for the death of a steelworker’s wife by arguing that she would have been covered in Massachusetts. “If people had been in Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care,” a Romney spokesperson said at the time.
It seems the Romney camp has decided to carefully tout his success in passing health reform to push back on Dem efforts to paint him as hostile to the interests of middle class voters and women. Of course, as Steve Benen notes, this is a bit problematic, because Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare, which would take insurance away from millions and roll back the most comprehensive effort in decades to expand coverage to the uninsured.
Romney believes universal health care nestablished by a state-based government mandate is the way to protect uninsured folks like the steelworker’s wife — see, he’s not a heartless plutocrat after all — but he would roll back efforts to establish that on a federal level. Romney believes universal health care established by a state-based mandate should be a model for covering everyone in the country — it’s right there in his book, in the hands of convention attendees — but he would roll back efforts to establish that on the federal level. All clear now? The debates should be interesting.