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Analysts: Health Care 'The Pivotal Issue For Romney'

This article is more than 12 years old.

On Thursday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is back in the state where he was born — Michigan — to deliver a speech about something he did in Massachusetts.

In 2006, Romney ushered in the law that brought near-universal health coverage to Massachusetts. Now, as he positions for another run at the GOP presidential nomination, he's being asked to explain his position.

But how pivotal is the health care issue?

"[Conservatives] realize what Romney did in Massachusetts led to what the president did nationally," said political analyst and Republican Todd Domke.

Political analyst and Democrat Dan Payne said those who knew him during the law's negotiations called Romney "the mandate guy."

"I think that for Romny to be able to explain himself is a little like his trying to walk on marbles," Payne said. "He doesn't know where his next step is."

Romney won't have a lot of support from the state's conservative media, according to Domke. He comes across as an opportunist, yesterday's news and "someone who reinvents himself ideologically and personality-wise and can't be trusted," Domke said.

This program aired on May 12, 2011.

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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