The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that a Newt Gingrich newsletter from April 2006, the month that Mitt Romney signed the Massachusetts health care bill into law, praised Romneycare. "The most exciting development of the past few weeks is what has been happening up in Massachusetts," read the "Newt Note" from 2006. "The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system."
Asked about the newsletter in an interview with CNN Tuesday, Gingrich said he didn't fully grasp the problems with the law at the time, but he has learned from his mistake, while Romney has not.
"You watched it go to work," Gingrich said of Romneycare. "Where Romney and I are different is, I concluded it doesn't work. He still defends it."
The Right Scoop has the video of Gingrich's CNN interview. Here's the transcript:
BLITZER: The story in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning -- and we'll get to the president later -- Gingrich applauded Romney's health plan. The 2006 newsletter -- GINGRICH: Sure.
BLITZER: -- that -- from your consulting firm, your consulting company, under a section called "Newt Notes," wrote this: "We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans."
You went on to say, "Massachusetts leaders are to be commended for this bipartisan proposal to tackle the enormous challenge of finding real solutions for creating a sustainable health system."
GINGRICH: Very same time, The Heritage Foundation said this is a very important experiment in the right direction.
BLITZER: The Heritage Foundation said that in the early '90s.
GINGRICH: But they also said it again at the time of Romney's passing his bill.
BLITZER: They did praise the --
GINGRICH: They said there's a lot of useful things --
BLITZER: So you liked the mandates --
GINGRICH: And then you watched it go to work. And the -- where Romney and I are different is, I concluded it doesn't work. He still defends it.
I think, when you look at the cost, when you look at the degree to which they politicized health care, when you look at things like putting Planned Parenthood in a position of decision, having the state pay for abortions, there are a lot of details of RomneyCare that are unacceptable.
And the difference between Romney and me is I've now concluded -- I'm prepared to say publicly -- I concluded, just as The Heritage Foundation did, that idea didn't work. And I have shifted towards John Goodman's "Patient Power." Romney's still defending the mandate that he passed.