This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: More closed-door meetings on health care. The president and members of his own party now pow-wowing in private over the very next move.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney telling me they’re doing it all wrong. And he knows. He overhauled health care when he was running Massachusetts and says that his plan was nothing like the president’s now.
More of my chat with Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann.
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASS. GOVERNOR: He’s not following what we did. What — we had a number of principles that we applied. And by the way we did it first of all on a bipartisan basis. We didn’t say, "OK. We’re just going to work this through with a small group of people, and push that on everybody else. No. We’re going to do this together." Meaning Republican and Democrat, but also private sector — public sector.
When the vote was taken, we have 200 legislators between the Senate and the House. Only two voted no out of 200. It was a bipartisan effort. We...
CAVUTO: Well, there are many who say it didn’t do what you said it would do.
M. ROMNEY: You know, it did some of the things that we targeted, which...
CAVUTO: But that would be the model you would use?
M. ROMNEY: Well, the model I’d use is this. Let states solve the problem of getting people insured. Not the federal government. Let each state create their own program based upon their own needs.
Look, Texas has far more uninsured even as a percentage than Massachusetts did. Their program would have to look different — or should look different than ours. Number two: Don’t raise taxes. We can’t raise taxes on the American people we’re trying to help. It kills jobs. That’s the wrong way to go, which the president’s plan does. It raises taxes.
Third: Don’t cut Medicare. Don’t go after our seniors to try and pay for this program. And finally, don’t have the federal government push itself into the insurance industry. Start controlling and managing health care. That’s the wrong way to go as well. Those things we avoided in Massachusetts. We have other mistakes I think in the plan that are going to have to be corrected for it to work effectively. But, you know...
CAVUTO: So your opponents will do that?
M. ROMNEY: Well, they...
M. ROMNEY: But, you know, the states are the laboratories of democracy. I would...
CAVUTO: But can we have 50 different...
M. ROMNEY: Absolutely.
M. ROMNEY: Oh, we have 50 different — we have different insurance companies in different states right now. We have different automobile insurance companies. We have different criminal laws in different states. Yes. We have differences. And by the way, if we find one that’s working really well, then perhaps we can apply it across the country.
CAVUTO: I see.
M. ROMNEY: But it’s just a plan to get people insured. And that I think is a good model.
CAVUTO: Well, you get into the nitty-gritty issues, and certainly gets into those kind of issues throughout the book.
My view, reading the book, though, Governor, is that you avoid some of the more hot-button issues, the social issues, which bedevil candidates in races anyway. Abortion comes to mind.
And I’d like to get your reaction to that, Ms. Romney, in that your husband did address abortion, I think a couple of paragraphs, you know, but, by and large, avoided it.
You know, you’re against abortion. You think it’s just not wise, and that — but when he was doing the draft on the book, I’m sure you had some say on something. I’m sure you just — he bounced some ideas off you...
CAVUTO: ... when that came up, or did it, that, I’m not really going to dwell on this abortion issue?
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: You know, I think he really dealt with the things that he is passionate about, and that he cares about, and that he knows how to fix. I think...
CAVUTO: Because there’s a base in the party, and that that this is the end-all and be-all, and — and for good reason. But — but there are a lot of end-all and be-all issues, and whether government and, you know, expanding health care in any way, shape, or form. They might, right from the get-go, say that your husband doesn’t get it. He –- it’s — that conservative stuff isn’t in his DNA.
A. ROMNEY: Well, it’s — you can look at our lives, and see how we live our own personal lives. And I think you can just by reflecting on that. Understand where we come from, and where our moral base is. And certainly if you look at our marriage and our children and everything else, you understand that we have a definite strong moral core.
M. ROMNEY: Yes. I’d also say, Neil, that this is a book talking about how we have to strengthen the economic base of America. And going through social issues is a fine thing to do. But it’s really not something which is, at least in my view, terribly amenable to the kind of analysis and proof that I wanted to go through on economic matters.
I mean, you’re either pro-life or pro-choice. There’s no amount of talking that you can typically do to convince somebody.
CAVUTO: Right. You really want to...