ABC News’ Matt Stuart Reports: At a campaign stop today in Burbank, California, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney went after the Democratic presidential candidates and sent sharp words to rival former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson after Thompson criticized his health care plan.
Romney was asked in a post-event press conference about Thompson campaign’s criticism of his health care plane. Romney responded, saying "at least I have a [Healthcare] plan." Romney also dismissed claims that his Massachusetts plan covers abortions for a small co-pay, saying "the requirements for abortion in Massachusetts are court directed and court mandated. They’re not something the Governor or the Legislature are able to adjust."
The former governor also was asked to outline the differences between his illegal immigration plan and that of Mayor Giuliani. Romney went to his record saying he opposed drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, and claimed he fought to combat the "sanctuary cities" in his state. Romney said that "as soon as I learned about the [sanctuary city] program I authorized our state police to receive training from the federal government so they can enforce federal immigration laws."
Romney also took the opportunity to jab the Democratic candidates on their upcoming debate tonight, saying "the only place you can lose more money than in the casinos of Las Vegas will be in that debate tonight."
Romney had some special guests in the audience as brother Scott and mission partner Dennis King came for the town hall meeting.
At the post-event media availability, Romney was also asked about his supporter, Paul Weyrich’s comments that the National Right to Life’s endorsement of rival former Sen. Fred Thompson was related to "financial dealing[s]." Romney claimed he had no knowledge of the comments and said that he didn’t "understand precisely the background on that."
Romney’s state police program was finalized in December of 2006. One of those sanctuary cities, Cambridge, first adopted "sanctuary" status in 1985.
Romney also said he’s not able to fall asleep in his hotel after a long day of events, and joked that he likes to read the bible to fall asleep, saying "Thank heavens the Gideon’s left me something that puts me to sleep."