Presidential candidate Rick Perry ramped up his criticism of rival Mitt Romney this afternoon, using the label “socialism” to describe the health care plan Romney signed into law when Romney was governor of Massachusetts.
“You know the model for socialized medicine has been tried before and it didn’t work,” Perry said during a speech at the Iowa Credit Union League’s annual meeting in Des Moines. “It failed miserably whether it was in western Europe or in Massachusetts.”
A spokesman for Romney called Perry’s comments “reckless and irresponsible.”
“Candidates have an obligation to tell the truth and not deliberately misrepresent the facts,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in a written statement. “We invite Governor Perry to come to Massachusetts so that he can see for himself that people buy private health insurance in a free market system.”
Perry said his “vision to get America working again” does not include the kind of “mandates” that are in the health care reform plans Romney and President Obama have signed into law. Perry also ridiculed the “American Jobs Act” President Obama is pushing congress to pass.
“We’ve tried for two-and-a-half years this government trying to stimulate the economy and you’ve got to ask yourself: ‘How’d that work for us?'” Perry said, then he answered his own question with the following: “Not very well. We need a flatter and broader and fairer federal tax code. We need to restore investor confidence by eliminating these federal regulations by these activist agencies like the EPA.”
Perry spoke in Jefferson last night and used the word “RomneyCare” to describe the Massachusetts health care law. The Texas governor visited a diner in Newton this morning. After a mid-afternoon stop in Atlantic, Perry is scheduled to speak this evening in Council Bluffs at a Pottawattamie County GOP “meet and greet.”