Former Romney Advisor Jonathan Gruber: Author of Romneycare and Obamacare Blows The Whistle
Romney continues to run from his own healthcare bill.
In the words of Greg Sargent, and Jonathan Gruber, the chief architects of both Romneycare and Obamacare- “These are all essentially Republican ideas that the Obama administration are putting forth.” “What we have here is a not so good politician who failed as a one-term governor, constantly changing his position on issues right before our eyes- publicly saying one thing while privately doing the opposite, which is very indicative of the stalemate by Republicans in Congress,” said Gruber.
Gruber and Sargent have grown weary of their ex-boss constantly trying to distance himself from the Romneycare bill that they authored for the state of Massachusetts on his instructions. ”Romney has a problem in that there is no way to truthfully distance himself from the Romneycare legislation,” Gruber said. “Because they’re the same fucking bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”
Greg went on to say that it was hilarious to see the Republican Party getting closer and closer to nominating the ”father of Obamacare” to the top of their ticket. You’d think that if Republicans meant a word of what they have said over the past three years, Romney’s campaign would have been over before it even began. And yet now, at least according to conventional wisdom, he’s practically guaranteed himself a victory in the GOP primary.
Greg asks a good question, which is why haven’t Romney’s rivals hammered him harder on this? Why hasn’t this been a defining issue in the primary?
I’ve wondered the exact same thing, and I’ve got two potential answers—I’m just not sure which one is right. One possibility is that Republicans never really cared that much about health care in particular. They just hated Obama, and health care was the thing they latched onto. That’s entirely plausible; after all, Obama’s health care plan shared much in common with the Heritage Foundation’s proposal from the 1990s. And the fact is that health care reform is turning out to be less unpopular with the country as a whole than Republicans may have initially thought. So it could just be that Romney’s health care position will be a non-issue.
It’s way past time for Mitt Romney to put or shut. His flip-flops are the stuff of legend. Mitt doesn’t have the sense to know how to play the social media game. He makes an outlandish remark on Monday then spends the bulk of any week saying something totally different- with the sense not to know the Internet age is amongst us. He becomes a soundbite for a 24 hr. news cycle at the drop of a hat. And what’s worse is, he does it to himself- only if Steven Spielberg could be so creative. You couldn’t re-create Mitt Romney if you tried- he’s already done it- There are two of him.
The other possibility—and I tend to think it’s closer to reality—is that candidates are waiting until the last minute to launch their Romney attacks. First of all, whoever goes negative first will end up hurting their own favorables as well as Romney’s. So even if candidates want Romney to get attacked, they have an incentive to let other candidates do the attacking if at all possible. Second, primaries tend to have big movements late in the game, unlike general elections. Remember when Joe Sestak beat Arlen Specter? He didn’t whip out that Sarah Palin ad until the last few weeks of the campaign, and it moved numbers quickly. Christine O’Donnell surged late as well, and the conservative establishment didn’t see it coming. As John Fund wrote:
Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, tells The Hill newspaper that Mr. Castle’s poll numbers appear weaker than Ms. Murkowski’s were in Alaska. “If you’re looking for the next possible seismic upset, [Delaware] would be it,” he says.
But in the end Mr. Castle is likely to prevail. Unlike Senator Murkowski, he is planning to run negative ads against Ms. O’Donnell. [...] Mike Castle is a moderate Republican facing a conservative primary electorate in an angry political climate. But from the evidence I’ve seen to date, Christine O’Donnell is no Joe Miller.
Primary voters tend to be the the ones who are most interested in politics, almost by definition. You might think that means they are more likely to have stable preferences with their minds firmly made up, but in practice, it means they are far more aware of the range of options that are available to them than most voters—and far more willing to shift their preferences based on changing circumstances. Remember, Rudy Giuliani was still leading the GOP field at this point in 2007. Things can change, and when it changes, it changes late. And fast.
So maybe Republican 2012ers just don’t think their voters give a damn about health care anymore. Or maybe they just don’t think it is the right time to go after Romney’s heresy.
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