Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney vs. Free Stuff

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When Mitt Romney spoke to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People yesterday morning, the biggest crowd reaction came when he promised to repeal ObamaCare. The crowd booed loudly. The Romney campaign shrugged it off, and, when asked about the boos, Romney reportedly told a group of donors later that evening that "if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff."

That's pretty rich coming from the same politician who worked so hard to sign ObamaCare's state-driven model into law while serving as the governor of Massachusetts, who has promised never to cut Medicare and has repeatedly criticized President Obama for doing the same, and whose party passed a massive unfunded Medicare prescription drug program that gives new federal benefits to the nation's wealthiest age cohort.

You could argue that Romney's political career is based mostly on the provision of "free stuff" from the government. Romney's biggest single accomplishment in Massachusetts was giving the state's residents the exact same free stuff he's now criticizing President Obama for giving the nation. Of course, it won't be free at the federal level, and it wasn't free for Massachusetts: In 2012, the state will devote 54 percent of its budget to health care, more than any other state. As an official from the state's Executive Office for Administration and Finance warned last year, the growth of health costs "threaten the very viability of government" within the state. "We're on a path that if we continue…government will end up doing nothing more than providing health insurance, which obviously is not an acceptable result." Romney, of course, continues to defend the (not) free stuff he gave Bay State residents. Anyone who actually wants to vote against free stuff is going to have a tough time.