Two delegates to the Republican National Convention are criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for “cherry-picking” on the federal health care law enacted under President Obama.
On Sunday, Romney said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he didn’t want to repeal the entire law because there are portions that he supports. In particular, he said he didn’t want to get rid of the law that forbids HMOs from dropping people from coverage if they have preexisting conditions and he also wanted to ensure that people can continue to cover children over the age of 21.
Romney’s campaign started walking back some of those comments later in the day. But that hasn’t stopped some Republicans from criticizing him.
The comments drew heavy fire from Marianne Stebbins and Craig Westover. The two delegates, who were backers of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, issued a statement saying Romney’s statement shows Romney is setting up a contest of “my big government is better than your big government” with President Obama.
“Cherry-picking bits and pieces of ObamaCare as Romney does compromises the fundamental principle of individual liberty and endorses the un-republican and extra-constitutional notion that government has the authority and the ability to manage individual health care decisions,” Stebbins wrote.
“Romney’s position confirms what Liberty Republicans have been saying for some time: The most significant debate in American politics today is not between the Democrat and Republican candidates for President; the most significant debate in American politics today is taking place within the Republican Party,” said Westover. “The most significant debate in American Politics is between a genuine belief in individual liberty and limited government and exploiting liberty and limited government as expedient talking points.”
The statement comes two weeks after Stebbins and other Paul supporters criticized the Romney campaign for making a “power grab” at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Westover is a former spokesman for the Republican Party of Minnesota.
After the statement was issued, Minnesota Republican Party Chair Pat Shortridge wrote several comments on Twitter urging Republicans to stand together.
“Rather than berate GOP cands you don’t like, why not spend time promoting GOP cands you do? They need the help. MNGOP site has a list,” Shortridge wrote on Twitter.