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Romney aide gaffes in defending health care reform

Published on Aug 9, 2012 7:03 AM
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Central Campus High School in Des Moines, Iowa August 8, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Mitt Romney aide raised eyebrows on Wednesday by defending a healthcare law the Republican passed as governor but distanced himself from after challenging President Barack Obama for the White House.

The apparent gaffe alarmed conservative pundits, who feared it would hand ammunition to Obama supporters defending the Democratic incumbent's 2009 national health care law, which was based on the same principles as Romney's.

Provoked by a pro-Obama ad that cited an unemployed steel worker complaining that his family had lost health insurance coverage after a Romney-owned firm laid him off, Romney spokesman Andrea Saul took a surprise stance.

"To that point, you know, if people had been in Massachusetts under governor Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care," Mr Saul told Fox News, normally a safe stage for Republican talking heads.

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