Romney to Obama: You should have called me on health reform

Mitt Romney’s first day as a full-fledged presidential candidate included a must-stop for any Republican hopeful: Fox News Channel.

Speaking with Sean Hannity for an interview to air Thursday night, the former Massachusetts governor repeats his pledge to repeal the national healthcare reform law that President Obama signed, even though it is modeled after one he signed in the Bay State.

“If I get the chance to debate President Obama, I’m looking forward to saying, ‘Thank you, Mr. President, for all the compliments you send my way -- I know what they’re intended to do,’ ” Romney said, referring to the glee with which Democrats and White House officials cite the Massachusetts plan as a blueprint for the president’s, hoping it will undermine his standing among Republicans.

In that hypothetical exchange, Romney said he would go on to ask, “Why didn’t you call me? Why didn’t you ask me whether the Massachusetts plan was working or not? What parts didn’t work? What things you shouldn’t do? Because I know this: Obamacare would bankrupt the nation.”


According to excerpts of the interview provided by Fox, Romney largely sticks to the themes he outlined in his kickoff speech Thursday afternoon -- that Obama has failed the nation, and that he’s uniquely suited to fix the economy, which is “in my wheel house.”

“I spent my life not in politics -- I’ve only been in politics four years. I was governor for four years. I didn’t inhale,” Romney jokes. “My life has been as a private-sector guy -- I understand how to compete.”

Asked about the controversial budget plan offered by Rep. Paul D. Ryan and the House Republicans, Romney says his own would be different -- walking a fine line.

“It’s not my plan. My plan is different than the Ryan plan. But his is a great start. His objectives make sense,” he said.