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RNC swag bag has Romney book with unaltered health care section

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

TAMPA — All credentialed media checking into the Republican National Convention are being given a swag bag featuring brochures and items from various sponsors such as sunglasses and a pocket fan. But the bag also contains a copy of the original hardcover version of Mitt Romney’s book, No Apology, in which he suggested his approach to health care in Massachusetts could be accomplished in the rest of the country.

The allusion was later altered for the paperback version of the book, a change that became a contentious issue during the Republican primary.

On page 177 of the hardcover version of No Apology that’s being given out at the RNC, Romney describes his Massachusetts health care law and writes: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care.”

This language was problematic, because it implied, contrary to what Romney has said elsewhere, that Romney thought his Massachusetts health care law could be a model for the nation. Such phrasing complicated his argument for why his law was different from President Obama’s national one.

The paperback version of the book was edited to read, “And it was done without government taking over health care,” thus removing the reference to “accomplish(ing) the same thing for everyone in the country.”

During the Republican primaries, Texas Gov. Rick Perry attacked Romney for making the change, charging that it indicated he had shifted his position on health care.

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