So instead of just plowing ahead and hoping his money, his name recognition, and the weakness of the field delivers the 2012 presidential nomination, Mitt Romney’s going to his native state of Michigan to do a Great Big Speech on health care. The presumed goal is to shake off the terrible weight of his own Massachusetts health reform plan, which at present looks likely to doom his presidential campaign.
From advance reports, however, it appears Mitt is basically just trying out some refined talking points, but no new position:
A Romney adviser tells ABC News that he will address his own record on health care reform but that it won’t be a major focus of his speech. While Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has apologized for his past support for legislation to enact a “Cap and Trade” system to cut down on carbon emissions, calling it a “clunker”, don’t expect Romney to do the same on health care reform. Look for Romney to continue his federalism defense: the plan he enacted was right for Massachusetts, but not for the entire country.
Gee, b’lieve we’ve already heard that defense.
Romney will also talk about what he would propose to replace ObamaCare, and looks like he’ll tout the usual Republican “ideas” of giving individuals tax credits to buy private policies and going after medical malpractice suits.
I guess he knows what he’s doing, but if indeed he says nothing new, you have to wonder why he’s going to the trouble and expense of just drawing more attention to his greatest handicap.
As Dave Weigel points out, Romney’s Great Big Speech during the 2008 cycle, dealing with religion, wasn’t terribly effective in reducing voter concerns about his Mormonism. But it did give him an excuse to stop answering questions about it, so maybe that’s his tack here: “I already addressed that issue in Michigan in May.”