Last week, I got into a debate with David Frum over his post arguing that Mitt Romney should use his Massachusetts health care law to counter charges that he’s unsympathetic to the middle class. We’ll now have a chance to see how that strategy plays out, as it appears as if the Romney campaign has decided to take Frum’s advice.
As readers likely know, this week, Priorities USA, the Obama-supporting super PAC, released an ad that not very subtly accuses Romney of being responsible for a woman’s cancer death. The absurd ad has been widely discredited, not just by the conservative media, but also by outlets such as CNN. Even liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent writes that, “I think the ad goes too far.” So countering the ad would seem like a slam dunk for the Romney campaign.
Yet, the Politico notes:
A Mitt Romney spokesperson offered an unusual counterattack Wednesday to an ad in which a laid-off steelworker blames the presumptive GOP nominee for his family losing health care: If that family had lived in Massachusetts, it would have been covered by the former governor’s universal health care law.
“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care,” Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign press secretary, said during an appearance on Fox News.
Where to start? Romney, as we all know, adopted a health care law as governor of Massachusetts that was a model for President Obama’s national health care law. Both laws force individuals to purchase insurance, expand Medicaid and provide subsidies for individuals to purchase government-designed insurance policies on government-run exchanges. Throughout his campaign, Romney has been performing a delicate balancing act, defending his own plan while calling for the repeal of Obamacare. But Saul’s response here creates a huge opening for defenders of the national health care law.