On Tuesday, MSNBC reported that the advisors assistedMitt Romney in drafting the Massachusetts health care also aided the White House with coming up with what would become ObamaCare:
Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”
The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.
“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”
The White House visitor logs suggest that, if Obama officials didn’t talk directly with Romney, senior presidential aides did consult with others — like Gruber — who played important roles in helping to craft and implement the Massachusetts law.
In what some see at the Republicans beginning to coalesce around the eventual nominee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who decided against a bid for the GOP nomination last week, endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is backing Mitt Romney for president as “the man we need to lead America” and said attacks on his Mormon religion are “beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Christie announced his endorsement at a surprise appearance in New Hampshire with the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday.
A senior Romney adviser told NBC News that Romney secured the endorsement on Saturday when he and his wife, Ann, met with Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, at the Christie home.
Romney described Christie as an “American hero” who has battled to “rein in the excesses of government in New Jersey.”
Christie’s support — which was considered to be coveted among the GOP field — could come with his network of donors and admirers.
I’m not trying to downplay the importance of this endorsement; but, was anyone actually surprised by this? It was obvious that Christie wasn’t going to get behind Rick Perry. Jon Huntsman, the only other candidate that would be up his alley, is doing terribly in the polls and the other candidates in the race seem are too far out there for him. Not to mention that a prominent Christie fundraiser immediately went to Romney after his guy opted against a run.
Both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry managed to secure endorsements ahead of last night’s debate that are being highly touted by their campaigns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tim Pawlenty endorsed Romney:
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney for president Monday, praising his onetime rival for his “leadership ability” and the “depth and scope of [his] private-sector experience.”
“I believe he’s going to be our party’s nominee,” Pawlenty said on “Fox and Friends,” predicting Romney would be a “transformational and great president.”
Less than a month after ending his own White House bid, Pawlenty was in sync with the Romney campaign’s message on everything from jobs to health care, to Social Security and Rick Perry.
Asked how he could endorse a candidate who he once mocked as the author of “Obamneycare,” Pawlenty said he’d spoken about health care with Romney and concluded: ”Mitt Romney is 100 percent dedicated and committed to repealing Obamacare.”
“Gov. Romney wants to fix Social Security. He doesn’t want to abolish it or end it,” Pawlenty said. “Gov. Perry has said in the past that he thought it was ‘failed.’”
Pawlenty criticized Romney pretty harshly in television appearances over RomneyCare - the blueprint for ObamaCare, but famously declined to do so during a Republican debate. Some are saying the endorsement is basically Pawlenty’s bid to be on the ticket with Romney. Maybe. Well, probably. But also Politico reports that Romney has apparently pledged to help Pawlenty pay down his campaign debt.
While Tim Pawlenty is being raked over the coals by commentators for declining to go after Mitt Romney on his disastrous health insurance reform bill that eventually became a blueprint for Obama, Thomas Sowell seems to like what he sees in the former Governor of Minnesota:
Tim Pawlenty cites his track record to back up his statements. That includes reducing Ethanol subsidies when he was governor of Minnesota and cutting the growth of state government spending from just over 20 percent a year to under 2 percent a year.
Governor Pawlenty fought Minnesota’s transit unions over runaway pensions and hung tough during a long strike. “Today,” he says, “we have a transit system that gives commuters a ride, without taking the taxpayers for a ride.”
Some fear that Governor Pawlenty doesn’t have the charisma and fireworks rhetoric that they would like to see in a candidate. Charisma and rhetoric are what gave us the current disastrous administration in Washington. Charisma and rhetoric gave people in other countries even bigger disasters, up to and including Hitler.
Politicians and the media may want a candidate with verbal fireworks but the people want jobs. As Tim Pawlenty put it: “Fluffy promises of hope and change don’t buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our cars, or pay for our children’s clothes.”
The only flaw in Sowell’s argument is that voters, including the conservative base of the Republican Party, tend to flock to candidates that build up a cult of personality.