President Obama told a crowd at a Democratic fundraiser in Boston Wednesday night that he was able to pass a national health care bill "with a little assist from the former governor of Massachusetts." The reference to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and to the health system Romney enacted in Massachusetts, drew laughter from the crowd of about 900 at the Boston Center for the Arts.
"With a little assist from the former governor of Massachusetts, we said that health care should no longer be a privilege in this country," Obama said. "It should be affordable and available for every American."
A short time later, at a smaller fundraiser in a private home in Brookline, Obama said, "Our work isn't done. Yes, we passed health care, with an assist from a former Massachusetts governor." The crowd, which had paid $35,800 per couple to attend, broke into laughter and applause. "Great idea," Obama added. "But we still have to implement it."
Obama's quick jabs at Romney are a brief preview of what will come in the general election campaign if Romney wins the Republican presidential nomination. Under pressure from some conservative leaders to repudiate his Massachusetts system, Romney has instead defended it, although he says he does not support its enactment nationwide. Of course, no matter what Romney says on the issue of health care, Obama will attack him for it. Obama's re-election team is said to be eager for a match-up with Romney. If they get their wish, we'll hear a lot more about Romneycare from the author of Obamacare.