So the cost of buying insurance is down. And that's the course that you have to have for the nation. Look, the idea that you have to get government into an enterprise in order for that to become competitive makes no sense at all.
If it made sense, we'd have a government trucking company, a government automobile company, a government clothing company, a government farm company. That just is the wrong way to go.
We could get our private industry to create better products and better services. That's what's happened throughout our economy. That's what driven our economy to be the most powerful in the world. We do not need government in the health market.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It has worked for Medicare. It has worked for veterans' care, hasn't it?
ROMNEY: Oh, it's worked terribly. I mean, look at something like Medicaid. When Lyndon Johnson signed Medicaid, he said this is going to cost about $500 million a year. Now, it costs $500 billion a year, 1,000 times more.
Now, I realize there's been some inflation, but not that much. The wrong way to go is to get government into an entity in our economy as large as health care and expect anything to occur besides a Trojan horse effect of a single-payer system crowding out the private markets. It would be terrible for hospitals, awful for doctors, and ultimately it would be a disaster for the people in America, because they wouldn't be able to choose private plan.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I actually said Medicare, not Medicaid, and a lot of experts believe that Medicare has helped eliminate poverty among the elderly. But I want to move on to national security. You saw those Iranian elections yesterday. A great deal of protests in the streets. Some suggesting that this election was stolen from the opposition. I want to show you what Secretary Clinton had to say about the elections yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: The United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran. We obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you think of the administration's response to the election so far and how would you respond?
ROMNEY: Well, first of all, the comments by the president last week that there was a robust debate going on in Iran was obviously entirely wrong-headed. What has occurred is that the election is a fraud, the results are inaccurate, and you're seeing a brutal repression of the people as they protest.
The president ought to come out and state exactly those words, indicate that this has been a terribly managed decision by the autocratic regime in Iran.
It's very clear that the president's policies of going around the world and apologizing for America aren't working. North Korea is not just saber rattling. They've taken the saber out of the sheath. Iran is moving headlong towards nuclearization. Russia is on the same course they were on. And all of the apologies that he provided to the Europeans have not led any of the European nations to provide additional support for us in Afghanistan.
Look, just sweet talk and criticizing America is not going to enhance freedom in the world.