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Romney Takes Heat For RomneyCare From Santorum, Gingrich

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich hit Mitt Romney on health care.

Santorum: You just don't have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing ObamaCare. Your plan was the basis for ObamaCare. Your consultants helped Obama craft ObamaCare and to say that you are going to repeal it -- you have no track record on that that we can trust you that you're going to do that.

Romney: This, I think, is either our eighth or ninth, and each chance I've had to talk about ObamaCare, I've made it very clear. Also, in my book. And at the time, by the way, I crafted the plan and in the last campaign, I was asked, 'Is this something that you would have the whole nation do?' And I said 'No.' This is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation.

Santorum pushes back, saying, "That's not what you said. It's in your book that it should be for everybody....You're allowed to change your positions. You can't change the facts."

Romney responds: "I haven't had a chance to respond yet because you were interrupting the entire time I was trying to speak. I want to make it very clear. We'll let everybody take a look at the fact checks. I was interviewed by Dan Balz. I was in interviews in this debate stage with you four years ago. I was asked about the Massachusetts plan. Was it something I'd impose on the nation? And the answer is absolutely not. It was something crafted for a state. And I've said time and again, ObamaCare is bad news. It's unconstitutional, it costs way too much money, a trillion dollars, and if I'm president of the United States, I will repeal it for the American people."

Later, Newt Gingrich jumps in. "The Boston Herald today reported that the state of Massachusetts is fining a local small business $3,000 because their $750 a month insurance plan is inadequate according to the bureaucrats in Boston. Now, there's a fundamental difference between trying to solve the problems of this country from the top down and trying to create environments in which doctors and patients and families solve the problem from the bottom up. And candidly Mitt, your plan ultimately philosophically -- it's not ObamaCare, that's not a fair charge -- but your plan essentially is one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system which, candidly, could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicaid program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment. So, there's a lot of big government behind RomneyCare, not as much as ObamaCare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting."

Romney: "Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you."

Gingrich: "That's not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation."

Romney: "Yeah, we got it from you and the Heritage Foundation."

Gingrich: "Wait a second. What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation."

Romney: "And you've never supported --"

Gingrich: "I agreed with them. I'm just saying. What you said to this audience just now plain wasn't true. That's not where you got it from."

Romney: "Have you supported in the past an individual mandate?"

Gingrich: "I absolutely did, with the Heritage Foundation, against HillaryCare."

Romney: "You did support an individual mandate?"

Gingrich: "Yes sir."

Romney: "OK. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation."

Gingrich: "OK, a little broader."

Romney: "Number two, we don't have a government insurance plan. What we do is rely on private insurers, and people, 93 percent of our people who were already insured, nothing changed. For the people who didn't have insurance, they get private insurance, not government insurance. And the best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises. What we did was right for our state according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is that if people don't like it they can change it."

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