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Mitt Romney defies Mike Huckabee

Published: Friday, Feb. 25 2011 11:14 a.m. MST

Contrary to the advice of Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney is standing behind the health care reforms enacted during his Massachusetts governorship.

"Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered," Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Boston Globe on Thursday.

Politico calls Fehrnstrom's statement "the first direct response Team Mitt made to Huckabee's criticism of the health plan in his new book."

News broke Wednesday that Huckabee significantly denigrates "RomneyCare" in his new book, "A Simple Government." Friday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, Huckabee explained how he thinks Romney could distance himself from RomneyCare. When asked whether the Massachusetts health-care reform is a campaign killer for Mitt's 2012 presidential hopes, Huckabee said, "I think it depends on how he handles it. He could say we shouldn't try it in all 50 states because the state we tried it in, it didn't work out as well. That's the way he could answer it."

The Washington Post suggested Wednesday that the health care issue could drain the momentum out of Romney's prospective presidential bid much in the same way Sen. Hillary Clinton's vote for the Iraq war derailed her presidential campaign in 2008.

e-mail: jaskar@desnews.com

twitter.com/askargo

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