Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Mostly False
Santorum
Says Romney wrote in the first edition of his book that his health care plan should be expanded nationwide and then, "You took it out of your book."

Rick Santorum on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 in a Republican presidential primary debate

Rick Santorum has it wrong on Mitt Romney's book

Even though it’s printed in black and white, Mitt Romney keeps getting challenged on just what he said in his book.

In a Republican presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry attacked Romney saying that in his book No Apology, Romney called the Massachusetts health care reform he enacted a model for the nation and said that he deleted the passage from the paperback version.

During an Oct. 18 debate in Las Vegas, it was Rick Santorum on the attack.

"It was in your book that it should be for everybody," the former Pennsylvania senator told Romney. "You took it out of your book," he added.

Thus ensued a feisty back-and-forth between Santorum and Romney, who has repeatedly denied the charge, insisting he has never asserted that Massachusetts’ program should be taken to a nationwide level.

PolitiFact has checked this charge before.

Perry’s accusation arose from the difference between the first, hardcover edition of Romney’s book and the later paperback version. "As a matter of fact, between books, your hard copy book, you said it was exactly what the American people needed, to have that Romneycare given to them as you had in Massachusetts. Then in your paperback, you took that line out."

Here’s the text of each edition:

HARDCOVER: "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care."

To:

PAPERBACK: "And it was done without government taking over health care."

So why the change?

The health care debate took a dramatic turn between the publication of the two editions of No Apology. His hardcover was written when the national health care policy supported by President Barack Obama included a public insurance option. So Romney's Massachusetts plan, by comparison, kept "private insurance and personal choice intact," he wrote.

Then the Democratic plan passed without the public option, and it very closely resembled Romney's plan. Both left in place the major insurance systems: employer-provided insurance, Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor. They both aimed to reduce the number of uninsured by expanding Medicaid and offering tax breaks to help moderate income people buy insurance. And both included a requirement to buy insurance or else face a penalty, a provision called the individual mandate.

Suddenly, the line in the hardcover edition to "accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country" as Republican Romney had done for Massachusetts was uncomfortably close to what the Democratic president had done nationally. Hence the change to the more declarative, "it was done without government taking over health care."

So Perry was right that the words in Romney's book and even the meaning changed somewhat between editions. But he mischaracterized Romney’s words. When PoliltiFact looked at the section of the hardback from which the quote came, we found that Romney was not really saying "it was exactly what the American people needed, to have that Romneycare given to them." He was in fact presenting a defense of state-level choice — not a pitch for a mandatory national approach.  We rated Perry's comment Mostly False.

Now Santorum has said, "It was in your book that it should be for everybody," and added that Romney took the assertion out in a later edition. That’s an exaggeration. We rate his statement Mostly False.