|Mitt Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul.|
Here's the situation: In 2006, then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney passed a universal health care law ("RomneyCare") which included, among other things, an individual mandate requiring the people of Massachusetts to either buy health insurance or face a tax penalty. Fast forward four years to 2010 - President Obama passes the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") which includes the same exact individual mandate that was introduced by RomneyCare. Two different laws, same individual mandate. Still with me so far? Good.
Now if you happened to catch the reality TV show that was the GOP primary, then you know that Romney took a beating from his fellow Republican colleagues for several months over the fact that he had implemented his own individual health care mandate while he was Governor of Massachusetts. This became a major point of contention. So much, in fact, that then-GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum warned the Republican establishment that Mitt Romney was the "worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama" specifically because of the health care mandate issue. So as you can see, this individual mandate issue poses somewhat of a problem for Mitt Romney because if his mandate is associated with Obama's mandate then he is subject to the same ridicule as Obama. Suffice it to say, the Romney people are painfully aware of this fact and have tried to distance their candidate from Obama on this issue.
Enter the comment.
A Left-wing SuperPAC, Priorities USA Action, launched a campaign ad featuring a man who lost his wife to cancer after Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, forced his employer to close its doors; the general premise of the ad being that Romney's firm caused the man to lose his health care, thereby causing him to lose his wife (it should be noted there are, of course, other details surrounding the man's story which are omitted by the ad). In response to this ad, Romney camp press secretary Andrea Saul had this to say on Fox News:
"This particular case was a plant that was closed years after Governor Romney left the company and, to that point, you know, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care."