After the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney acknowledged that a line about spreading health care reform throughout the country was changed in the paperback version of Romney’s book “No Apology.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said during the Florida debate that Romney took out the single line that suggested the Massachusetts health reform law could be applied to the country. The line that is removed in the paperback version reads, “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”
Perry said during the debate that Romney once believed national health reform”was exactly what the American people needed.”
And Romney shot back last night, saying that that’s not what the line in the book meant and recalled a conversation with a reporter in which he was asked specifically about applying Obamacare on the national level.
“I actually — I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said — actually, when I put my health care plan together — and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, is this a plan that if you were president you would put on the nation, have the whole nation adopt it? I said, absolutely not. I said, this is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan,” said Romney.
After the debate Romney’s staffer Fehrnstrom went into greater detail to explain what Romney was trying to say during the debate. Fehrnstrom said that line was indeed removed because there was more information when the second version of the book came out. The line was originally written, according to Fehrnstrom, before Obamacare was on the books.
“Every time a book goes from hardcover to paperback there are updates that are made,” said Fehrnstrom after the debate. “When Mitt Romney wrote his book “No Apology” it came out before the health reform law passed and the stimulus bill passed came so of course there were updates a year later when the paperback edition came out. That’s not unusual in the publishing industry.”
“They were simple updates to reflect that we had more information at the time the paperback came out,” said Fehrnstrom.
The first edition of Romney’s book was published in March 2, 2010. Obama’s Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The paperback version of Romney’s book was first issued in February of 2011.
Romney has been dogged during the presidential campaign by the Massachusetts health reform law, which was a model for the national law Democrats enacted in 2010. Republicans are united in their opposition to the national law.
Perry and Romney spent a good amount of time at the debate sparring over their respective books. Romney criticized Perry’s writings about Social Security.
“It’s fine for you to retreat from your own words in your own book, but please don’t try and make me retreat from the words that I wrote in my book. I stand by what I wrote. I believe in what I did. And I believe that the people of this country can read my book and see exactly what it is,” said Romney.