Despite taking hits in conservative circles for his performance in the most recent Republican candidate debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry remains on offense, attacking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his debate answers Thursday night.
Monday morning the Perry campaign launched a Web video hitting Romney for the health insurance law he signed in 2006, and blasting Romney for subsequently defending it during the Fox News/Google GOP Debate.
The Perry campaign says Romney has “an integrity problem” because the words he wrote in his book “No Apology” are sometimes at odds with what he told a conservative audience from the debate stage in Orlando, Fla., Thursday night. (RELATED: George Will says the GOP has become ‘too southern’)
“Mitt Romney may try to edit his past, but he can’t — President Obama followed Mitt Romney’s model of Romneycare when he designed Obamacare,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner in a statement. “Americans are looking for a proven and authentic conservative, not someone who changes his policies based on the ‘climate.'”
The video argues that while Romney forcefully asserted that he stood by his book, those very words have changed. In the first edition of “No Apology,” Romney wrote that the rest of the country should use his Massachusetts model. But when the book was printed in paperback in 2011, that section was omitted.
“Please don’t try and make me retreat from the words that I wrote in my book,” Romney says in the video. “I stand by what I wrote. I believe in what I did. And I believe that the people of this country can read my book and see exactly what it is.”
The Perry campaign has jumped on a Fox News appearance Friday night in which Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul admitted that “No Apology” was edited due to a “climate of change.” Saul said then that the stimulus and “Obamacare” hadn’t yet passed when Romney wrote the book in 2009. But the Perry camp notes in its new video that Romney’s book was published in March 2010, after both the stimulus and Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act became law.
Although Perry attempted to land a blow on Romney for changing the text of his book, much of the post-debate analysis has focused on Perry’s poor debate performance, and his failure to actually draw blood.
“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,” Perry said. “Then in your paperback, you took that line out.”