In his 60 Minutes interview broadcast Sunday, Mitt Romney gave many interesting answers. Here are a few:
Self awareness: Scott Pelley, with a reference to David McCullough, asked Mitt Romney about what he has “learned from the history of presidents in the White House”. Romney spoke a bit about McCullough’s biography of John Adams and approvingly described Adams as “an individual who was less concerned about public opinion than he was about doing what he thought was right for the country” and who “did what he thought was right for America” even though it cost him reelection. Presumably Romney sees himself in that mold, or at the very least aspires to it. If the American people saw him that way, he would be coasting to victory. They don’t, and that’s why he isn’t.
Obamacare for Seniors: With a public option, that is. Not exactly news, but a pretty clear description from the candidate. From the transcript:
Pelley: The idea under your plan for future seniors would be that the federal government would write that senior a check, essentially, and say, “Now, you can go buy a private insurance plan or you can buy Medicare from the federal government.” Is that essentially it?
Romney: Yeah. That’s essentially it. People would have a choice of either traditional, government-run, fee-for-service Medicare; or a private plan, which has to offer the same benefits.
Channelling his inner-George W. Bush: Health care for the uninsured? Those people can always go to the emergency room. From the transcript:
Pelley: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?
Romney: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people– we– if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.
Class Warfare: At least that is what the Romney campaign would call it if a Democratic candidate uttered these words. From the transcript:
Pelley: How would you change Social Security?
Romney: Well, again, no change in Social Security for those that are in retirement or near retirement. What I’d do with Social Security is say this: that again, people with higher incomes won’t get the same high growth rate in their benefits as people with lower incomes. People who rely on Social Security should see the same kind of growth rate they’ve had in the past. But higher income folks would receive a little less.
Pelley: So in the Romney administration, in the Romney plan, there would be means testing for Social Security and for Medicare?
Romney: That’s correct. Higher income people won’t get as much as lower income people. And by virtue of doing that– and again, that’s for future retirees. For– by virtue of doing that, you’re able to save these programs on a permanent basis.”
Paul Ryan challenges Peggy Noonan to a fight
Well not exactly, but close. As Romney’s weekus horribilus drew to a close, Peggy Noonan hit the campaign in the you-know-where, modifying her previous criticism of the Romney campaign by writing “This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant “rolling calamity”.”
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Paul Ryan reacted by saying “I think that’s just what conservatives do by nature. I think that’s just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that – to kind of complain – about any imperfection they might see.” He’s got a point, but when the Queen of Optimism, a true Reagan conservative whose predominant theme is “believe in the goodness of Americans” draws that kind of blood, things are not working.
Let Romney be Romney
I have not actually seen or heard any such calls from his supporters. Not sure why.
~ John Kenny