Election 2012

Mitt Romney is Proud to be the Godfather of ObamaCare, Which He Assures You He Wants to Kill


Last time the White House accused Mitt Romney of being ObamaCare's godfather, the GOP presidential nominee responded with murder on his mind. "If I'm the godfather of this thing," he said, "then it gives me the right to kill it." Which I suspect most would agree is an unusual interpretation of what it means to be a godfather, but we'll let that pass for the moment.

Recently, he's addressed the godfather label in a way that comes across as a little less stabby. "I have experience in health care reform," he said in Miami this week. "Now and then the president says I'm the grandfather of Obamacare. I don't think he meant that as a compliment but I'll take it." A contradiction? A reversal? Maybe he's just so proud of his legislative godchild/grandchild that he can't wait to kill it?

It's more like another admission that Romney still really likes the health care plan he passed in Massachusetts, despite that plan's role as the model for the president's national health policy overhaul. And it's a sign, perhaps, that Romney would prefer to tweak ObamaCare than take it down.

Even though he doesn't talk about it much, Romney's love of his health plan has been a defining part of his campaign. As Noam Scheiber reported in The New Republic, Romney picked his top strategist, Stuart Stevens, in large part because Stevens was the only GOP campaign guru who didn't advise him to disown the Massachusetts health care plan. Personnel is policy, and a candidate's choice of chief strategist is a central decision in any major campaign. This tell us a lot about how he much he likes his health care plan: Romney was apparently willing to both ignore the advice of virtually every Republican political strategist and stake his campaign's future on his abiding pride in RomneyCare.

Indeed, RomneyCare is one of the few policies that Romney has fought to defend throughout his campaign. That defense has been subtle; he doesn't often talk about the Massachusetts system. But he's consistently insisted on making the case for it, despite professional advice to the contrary, constant criticism from members of his own party, and a deep skepticism of the plan from the conservative base. It's cost him a lot, in other words, and yet he's stuck with it anyway.

Does this sound like someone deeply invested in repealing ObamaCare as president? Given the similarities between the plans and Romney's multiple early suggestions that RomneyCare could be a model for the nation, I remain skeptical that he would make any signficant effort to repeal the law. Perhaps if it came to his desk he would sign it. But I also wouldn't be shocked to find him working behind the scenes to postpone or even avoid repeal.

Part of his argument could be that that ObamaCare wouldn't be as bad with him in charge. Unlike Obama, he'd work closely with Republican governors and legislators to make the plan less onerous, more amenable to various GOP interests. That would be consistent with the approach taken by Romney's transition team head, Michael Leavitt, who has spent the last few years telling states that they should set up the health insurance exchanges called for by ObamaCare — and then charging them to consult on exchange implementation once they agree. It would also be consistent with Romney's promises to allow state-based waivers to ObamaCare until the point when, or if, a repeal bill arrives at the White House. There are serious problems with Romney's plans to let states off the hook via the law's waiver provision (namely that the law currently doesn't allow state waiver plans to kick in until 2017). But I don't doubt that a Romney administration would pursue implementation flexibly.

Indeed, a plan that relied on implementation tweaks would fit well with Romney's general view of the Obama administration, which is not that the president's policies were bad but that they were designed and managed poorly. And it would line up quite nicely with Romney's recent declaration that "there are a number of things that I like about health care reform that I'm going to put in place." I don't doubt that Romney is proud to be ObamaCare's godfather. But I think he'd be even happier as its stepdad.

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  1. Well, as Bill Cosby said, “My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.'”

  2. Barack Obama to be re-elected President in 2012: 70.0% CHANCE
    Last prediction was: $7.00 / share
    Today’s Change: +$0.25 (+3.7%)


    The republican party will be destroyed.

    1. What was innatrade trading the chances of the Republicans taking the House in September 10?

      1. Funny thing, just happen to have something from September 2010

        According to

        09/06/2010 2:17 AM CULLEN ROCHE


        Odds of a Republican victory in the House of Representatives has surged over the last 18 months. According to Intrade there is now a 70% chance the Democrats will lose the House to the Republicans in the upcoming elections.

        1. Thanks. And for the record, I thought innatrade was crap then too. I don’t believe in the magic wisdom of crowds.

          1. It doesn’t believe in you either, so I guess you’re even.

          2. If Intrade figures meant what wef and shrike (assuming they’re different people) seem to think they do, then futures contracts would never have a different value than the underlying commodity.

            “Silver for December delivery is at $30 an ounce… so silver will cost $30 in December. TEH MARKET HAZ SPOKEN!”

            1. By the way, if you are confident that the odds in favor of team o are notably less than seven to three – say, less than two to one, then you should be heading over to intrades right now ? there’s money to be made. Really, truly.

              1. And if you think that any stock on the NYSE or Nasdaq is wrongly valued, you must head over there and buy or short them, or accept that the stock market always perfectly values every stock.

          3. Then make money betting against it.

        2. The error of the mean of N random variables is less than the error of a single random variable by a factor of sqrt(N).

          So predicting the total outcome of 435 separate races is much easier than predicting the outcome of one.

          1. One should take the intrade probability as one does horse race odds. It is the outcome of a betting process. If you disagree with the odds, then you bet the other way. So with even a little trading depth, intrade should be reflecting the “best guess” of those who think they have information, or who want to hedge or simply play the horse race for thrills. The “wisdom of crowd” interpretation is sometimes strained to suggest that intrade and other bets like forex markets are doing zero-one predictions. One semantic problem is that intrade and others are called “prediction markets” ? and in a limited sense, yeah, but that is overselling it – maybe they should be called odds markets.

            There is the possibility that someone is forcing intrade odds in a direction in order to “cascade” opinion. It’s an investment with payoffs outside of intrade winnings. You would not want to do that in a horse race, where the odds themselves do not feed back to the race outcome. You would not “over bet” on a loser. It would be a waste of money. Maybe team obama is manipulating the odds, but I doubt that intrade is doing much in terms of the mass psychology of the election.

            1. So if you don’t bet money on horses, that means you must agree with the odds?

      2. And I just checked here


        By mid-October 2010, Intrade odds got to fifteen to one the repubes would take House. For those of you in probability land, that’s a 94 percent chance.

        1. “John” has already assured everyone here that Romney will win.

  3. I missed the quote where Romney said he was proud to be the Godfather of Obamacare. All I see is a strange out-of-context, off-the-cuff remark that Suderman extrapolates to mean he’s proud of it. If you watch the video at the link given it looks like he’s grasping for words when he says the “but I’ll take it” line, and then says he’s proud that “every child had health insurance” blah blah blah. No pride in Obamacare in the actual quote there. Maybe Suderman is thinking of a different quote?

    And then we have a couple of paragraphs of speculation about how Romney could avoid repealing Obamacare assuming he doesn’t want to. Another example of Reason’s Romney=Obama tic.

    1. I have to say that Romney does himself no favors by not repudiating his efforts to expand state involvement in healthcare.

      1. I agree. But if that’s Suderman’s argument he should make it… not attribute positions to him that are not evidenced.

    2. This is Obama-level obfuscation. Another example of Tulpa’s Romney=Messiah tic.

      1. If Romney is my Messiah I’ve blasphemed many many times.

  4. Ahhh Peter, still trying to form some coherent whole out of the things Mitt Romney says and does. What he’s basically always saying, no matter the topic, time or place, is:

    “Please, please I wanna be President SO BAD!”

    1. And of course what Obama’s always saying:

      “Jesus I don’t wanna be a ONE-TERMER!”

      Of course the way Mitt’s eating the lower part of his own legs, at this point it doesn’t look likely.

  5. “If I’m the godfather of this thing,” he said, “then it gives me the right to kill it.”

    How is that saying he is “proud to be the Godfather of this thing”?

    Come on Sudderman, this is not a hard case to make. Why do you do it so poorly?

    1. It’s not a bad strategy if you’re aiming for the Weigal career trajectory.

  6. Shorter Peter Suderman: “Which I suspect” “I don’t think he meant” “Maybe he’s just” “And it’s a sign, perhaps” “Even though” “Romney picked his top strategist, Stuart Stevens, in large part” “This tell us a lot” “Romney was apparently” “virtually” “Perhaps if it” “Part of his argument could be” “But I don’t doubt” “But I think”

    If you want to contend that Romney won’t do what he says, show some examples of how he’s governed or lived other than how he was expected, and call him a liar and we can save ourselves some reading time.

    1. The sad thing is that there is plenty of evidence for MR being an insincere weasel who says whatever he has to to get elected.

      On this particular issue, though, his goose would be cooked on the right if he blocked a repeal of Obamacare. And he knows it. The right is not as forgiving of those it elects as the left is (think Guantanamo).

      1. “The sad thing is that there is plenty of evidence for MR being an insincere weasel who says whatever he has to to get elected.”

        He has a record. Is it opposite of what he promised while campaigning? If so, then there’s no need for parsing idiotic replies to Obama statements about whether he’s a godfather of anything.

        1. He has a record. Is it opposite of what he promised while campaigning?

          For the most part.

          1. “For the most part.”

            Some examples please

            1. Are you serious?

              His record is pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, pro-illegal-immigration.

              1. “His record is pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, pro-illegal-immigration.”

                These are examples of things he did differently in office than what he campaigned on? Maybe you don’t understand the question.

                “opposite of what he promised while campaigning” are the key words.

                1. Yeah, I’m sure he had a sudden sincere conversion on all those issues that just happened to coincide with going from Massachusetts politics to the national GOP scene.

                  1. “Yeah, I’m sure he had a sudden sincere conversion on all those issues that just happened to coincide with going from Massachusetts politics to the national GOP scene.”

                    So, your point is that your intuition says he’s a liar, but you don’t have any specific examples of it. Good work

              2. “His record is pro-choice on abortion”

                Did he propose legislation that limited abortion after elected?

                “pro-gay marriage”

                Did he propose restricting gay marriage after being elected?

                “pro-gun control”

                Did he not propose gun control after being elected?


                Don’t know what you mean here. Never heard a candidate say they were pro illegal anything and I don’t know what he has to do with Massachusetts.

                1. Come on – nobody wants to hear about legislative powers versus executive authority! Let’s just pretend we are electing a king and bash each other over the head.

              3. And no, I’m not interested in whether he has changed positions on something. I’ve changed mine on things. He has a right to change them if he’s not lying about them to get elected. I’m asking if he legislated in a way different than he said he would.

                1. He has a right to change his positions for any reason he wants. And I have a right to publicly doubt the sincerity of that change of position, pointing out the extreme convenience of that change.

                  Isn’t freedom wonderful?

                  1. “He has a right to change his positions for any reason he wants. And I have a right to publicly doubt the sincerity of that change of position, pointing out the extreme convenience of that change.”

                    Yes, you have the right to speculate about whatever you want. And I have the right to point out that you didn’t give one example of what he actually did that was not what he said he would do.

  7. Get depressed, ladies and gentlemen.

    I mean, not that a Romney Presidency doesn’t depress you.

    Oh fuck it, just be depressed.


    Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by eight points nationally, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Obama has 51 percent of support from the likely voters polled, compared to 43 percent who support Romney.

    The Pew poll also found that Obama supporters are more positive about their candidate than those supporting Romney; 68 percent who favor Obama say they are “strongly” supporting him, while only 56 percent of those who favor Romney say the same thing. And while 74 percent of those Obama supporters say they will be voting “for Obama” rather than against his opponent, only 45 percent supporting Romney say they are voting “for” him, while 52 percent say they are voting “against” Romney’s opponent.

    1. That poll is an outlier. Every other poll has it as a dead heat. Maybe Pew is right and Gallup and Rasmussan and WAPO and AP wrong. But I doubt it.

      1. The stubborn fact of it all is that the polls have been stagnant for forever. Every once in a while some outlier pollster gets talked up through the media to try to ‘make things interesting’, but Generic Republican v. Obama had almost the same numbers way back in January.

        1. It has pretty much been about 47-45 with the edge usually but not always going to Obama since January.

          Overall I think that is probably bad news for Obama for three reasons.

          1. Incumbents below 50% usually, though not always lose. Undecideds generally break against the incumbent, though there is the occasional exception.

          2. Republicans generally perform a point or two better in the election than they do in the polls and in a close election that could be the difference.

          3. These polls seem to all be over sampling Democrats.

    2. Right I’m predicting the map ends up looking like this:


      I think Gary Johnson can steal the pot vote from Obama in Colorado, so there’s that, and Mitt has a good shot at winning New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

      1. I would be shocked if Romney didn’t win NC and NH. So I would put his total at 210 right now.

      2. You have to get the shareable link from the one you built.

        For example, this is my Fantasy Map.

        1. That would send it to the House which would mean Romney would win.

          Randian, you hate liberals more than I do. That result would crush their souls.

            1. And for reference Nate Silver has the chance of a tie at only .5% but InTrade has it at a 3.2%.

              The only unrealistic piece of my map (IMO) is Romney winning Colorado. I personally predict that Colorado is going to be this year’s key state.

              1. Obviously, my prediction comes with the recognition that the election will be held up in court for months at a time again.

            2. Yeah, but I do remember reading about how there are a few Paulites that will be electors in GOP states and they are mighty pissed about what happened at the convention, to the point where they might defect and not vote for Romney in the Electoral College. Let’s say he does win New Hampshire and then that happens.

              Now that would be SO AWESOME.

              1. Colorado right now is well-within in the margin of error for Obama (only about 2% according to RCP) and has two advantages for Romney: one, it’s shit full of Mormons, and two, it has a lot of stoners and college liberals that are not as committed team players as most Democrats. They are ripe for being poached by a third partier like Johnson who will talk about marriage equality and legalized pot at the same time.

                1. Serious Man,

                  The thing is Mormons will absolutely go out and vote. All of these states are within the margin of error or pretty close if you believe the polls. So the question is who shows up. The intensity numbers have been trending Republican for about two years now.

              2. Dude, republicans would kill the paulites.

                I mean like literally, kill them all. In the street.

        2. That’s pretty much my scenario, only Romney manages to steal New Hampshire and thus wins the election. I really do think Johnson will give Romney Colorado and dilute Obama votes in New Mexico (but not enough to win).

          And I think he may even win Wisconsin where the GOP is riding high with Walker and Ryan. So how about that, the most uninspiring GOP candidate since Wendall Wilkie may be the one that wins an election sans Ohio.

          1. Yes, and if Ohio fails to vote for the winner, the godforsaken politicos might stop coming here.

            I pray to Pope Peikoff, Branden the Baptist and Ayn Rand’s Holy Ghost that there is a tie…strictly for the lulz.

        3. So, I’m surprised that shows New Mexico as going blue. NM is an outlier blue state, very strong Democratic, but socially quite conservative when you dig into the ‘normals’.

          I’m thinking that Gay Jay will throw that off for Obama a bit. Unless of course GJ pulls Romney votes away. It’s a puzzlement.

    3. The only place I can find the D/R/I breakdown on this poll is at Free Republic.

      The breakdown?



      1. I wish someone could tell me what the game here is (if it’s anything other than what seems obvious).

        D+9? 2008 democrat high water marks were like D+7. 2010 was in R+ territory. Where do they get off with D+9 in a poll, if they’re not just trying to game a false cascade?

        I’ll eat my hat if the election goes D+9. And democrats will take the house.

  8. I actually have no problem with an individual state trying to implement some form of universal healthcare. That’s the whole idea of a representative republic-each state is its own experiment for how best to run the system. For instance in Tennessee, we took the opposite approach and dismantled Tenncare, mainly because it was a giant money pit and wasn’t improving health outcomes nor lowering costs overall. Of course everyone on the left freaked out, but now it’s done and we’ve moved on. Don’t like it? Move.

    I don’t have a problem with Romney arguing that he approved it in Massachusetts because of the state dynamic but would not approve from a federal level for those reasons.

    You can argue that what he did as governor is an indication of what he will do as president, but when he specifically articulates the difference in this case I’m not sure why it’s so hard understand.

    1. This raises something that I think has been a flaw in our system from the get-go. The states have quite broad powers–much broader, in theory, than the federal government. Why should states be able to redistribute wealth or do other things that deny the civil liberties of some or all of their citizens?

      1. Well, I’d say the states shouldn’t do those things either. But at least it is not against the law of the land for them to do so. If federalism/local control has any value, it is a purely practical one. Local governments infringing my rights hurts just as much as the federal government. And I like where I live and I have put a lot of work into it. “Just move” is not a good answer to the problem of your rights being violated, but I suppose it is better to have the option than not.

        1. No, at least it’s legal. People within a state have the option of fighting it or finding a state without oppression. Much more so than trying to deal with the central government.

        2. ^ yes.

          i fucking love my state, and one of the reasons i chose it , is it’s very libertarian constitution. we have tons of craptastic liberal legislators, but they get trumped by the constitution, and it ends up with pretty good RESULTS

          example: police DUI roadblocks? nope

          shall issue concealed carry? yup

          no permit required open carry? yup

          police can search car “incident to arrest like in almost every other state?” nope

          overhead searches for MJ grows etc. w/o warrant? generally no. (has to do with curtilage, wild land vs. improved etc. but generally not legal)

          income tax? FUCKS NO !!!!!!!!!

          drunk in public laws? nope

          curfew laws? nope

          right to self defense? the STATE has the burden to disprove self defense at trial . AND if you are found not guilty AND the jury also rules they thought it was self defense, you get back pay for work missed AND all your legal fees paid by the state

          this creates an immense disincentive for prosecutors to charge people in apparent self defense shootings. obviously

          1. now don’t get me wrong. there is some fucked up shit. like the “critical areas ordinance” that steals people’s land. don’t even get me started on that one. i did a bunch of protesting on that. never got bludgeoned by no cops neither! 🙂

            we also don’t have those stupid ass “disorderly conduct” statutes that basically act as a valve for cops to arrest people for being dicks. our DC statute is VERY reigned in.

            age of consent: 16, but 15 and 14 are legal if the other party is so many months in age (eliminates many stupid statutory rape cases you see in states like cali)

            Miranda law follows the federal standard. which is good. hawaii was wack, but search and seizure law is MUCH more restrictive, since we HAVE a right to privacy under our state constitution

            the other thing is not only do local govt’s infringing rights hurt as much, but when it comes to rights infringement and also law enforcement, the VAST majority is done at the local level. the feds are more spread out. for every DOJ employee per capita, there are going to be way way way more local cops. it’s a #’s thang

  9. I don’t get it. I’m no fan of Romney, but all he has to say is, “The healthcare bill I passed in MA doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the idea of states being able to determine for themselves what they want their respective governments to handle is part of what the Constitution was designed to allow. Having said that, I don’t feel the law or anything like it is a proper thing for the federal government to pass. Therefore, if elected President, I would work to repeal Obamacare even though I passed and approve of similar legislation in Massachusetts.”

    The. End.

    1. “even though I passed and approve of similar legislation in Massachusetts”

      The only thing similar is the mandate and exchanges. Requirements for coverage of pre-existing conditions and community rating became law in 1996. That’s 10 years of screwing up health insurance in Massachusetts before Romneycare. Romneycare was a 70 page bill, Obamacare is 2074 pages. To contend that they are the same thing is just lazy generalization.

      1. And critics of Obamacare are so thorough in their understanding of it.

        1. The advocates of Obamacare were ignorant in their understanding of it, and were seemingly proud of it.

    2. The problem is: ego.

    3. Brian – We were having fun playing the “There’s no difference between them” Reason game. You come along and ruin it with facts and quotes.

  10. So is Romney going to lure Obamcare into a boat on a lake and have Al Neri shoot it in the head as it recites a Hail Mary?

  11. in romney’s defense (christ, what an awful way to open a sentence. you know it’s probably going to suck) 🙂 … it is consistent and “ok” to be the architect of a state plan like romney care *and* be opposed to the federal govt. doing the same thing.

    i kind of doubt romney is going to be mr federalism, etc. but there’s all kinds of shit that heck it’s UNconstitutional for the feds to do, but entirely legal for the states to do. there’s other stuff that constitutional either way, but good policy for a state, bad policy for the feds. and then there is stuff that is craptastic either way. while *i* think obamacare falls under the third option, mebbe romney falls under 2?

    I don’t know. the guy is all over the fucking map

    1. “there’s other stuff that constitutional either way, but good policy for a state, bad policy for the feds”

      Like Medicare?

  12. Meanwhile, crazy, protectionist, Pat Buchanan-style China bashing is becoming a central theme of Mitt Romney’s campaign. It’s not making headlines, but it comes up again and again when Romney speaks. It’s one of the 5 main pillars of his economic “plan.” Why is this man’s economic illiteracy not being used against him?

    1. Who is going to call him out on it, the economic retard on the other side?

      1. I guess you’re right. I do wish Huntsman had been more vocal in pointing out, “hey, that’s crazy talk!” during the debates. He hinted at it at one point, but never landed a blow.

  13. ” …and so too did Abraham offer up his firstborn son to the Lord his God to show his submission and devotion, and this pleased the Lord, and so Isaac was spared, as so too Obamacare will in ways be spared, as even Republicans want Moar Free Shit, despite what they say…”

  14. I did not care for him, is expected from this situation, I did not really say, fell from the capital. Even if there http://www.cheapuggsbootsforwomen.org/ was a gun in the hand must not mean Doude Guo Zhang Yan. Thought this, I saw the boss Zhang nodded. Heroes do not eat immediate loss anyway, now she brings those things that I did not need Senate combined.

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