First, some background. The Politico's Jonathan Martin had reported that in Flordia, the Romney campaign launched robo-calls against John McCain, attacking him for voting against the "AARP-backed prescription drug program." Martin cited confirmation by "an aide to the former governor." I've criticized Romney heavily for this on the blog, so I wanted to give him an opportunity to respond. I asked him how he could say in debates that we need to tackle entitlement spending, and then run calls attacking McCain for opposing legislation that added trillions to our entitlement deficit.
Here was Romney's full response:
That's a darn good question, and the reason is because I also have said that I would have opposed the Medicare Part D provision that President Bush put on, unless there was a Medicare reform that was part of the package. So actually, Senator McCain and I would have been on the same side of that vote. I did not know that that went out in a call, I'll look into that. But for me, what I've always said is that on the Medicare Part D that I supported the idea of getting seniors Medicare Part D and prescription coverage, but for me that would have had to be combined with a reform of Medicare overall, which did not cause us to increase the ongoing obligation, the liability that we have by virtue of that program, and frankly, I've laid out what I would do in all three programs-Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security-to rein in the excessive spending. But I'll look into that call, and I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.