Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who hosted a Fox News forum with GOP presidential candidates Saturday night, said afterward that he was not convinced that Mitt Romney could differentiate his Massachusetts health care plan sufficiently from President Obama's.
Politico's David Catanese reports that in a post-event interview, Cuccinelli said, "I don't see a lot of distance there between him and the president" on the issue.
Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, has long drawn scrutiny from Republicans for instituting a state health care law in 2006 that imposed an individual mandate very similar to the one found in President Obama's overhaul, which passed Congress in 2010.
Saturday's forum was no different. Romney fielded a question about how he would answer a charge from Obama that that president's plan was based on Romney's.
“I sure look forward to that” exchange, Romney, 64, said. “Do I like the bill overall? Yes. Am I proud of what we did for our state? Yes. But what the president has done is way beyond what we envisioned.”
Romney said while his measure only aimed to cover the 8 percent Massachusetts residents who lacked insurance, “Obamacare is about taking over 100 percent of the people’s insurance in this country.”
Romney's healthcare plan extended insurance coverage to 98 percent of Bay State residents.