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Rick Perry tells Iowans that Romneycare cost them

September 15, 2011|By Michael Finnegan
(Charlie Neibergall / AP )

Reporting from Jefferson, Iowa — Texas Gov. Rick Perry opened an Iowa campaign swing tonight by ramping up his attacks on Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor, calling his "misguided health mandates" a burden to taxpayers nationwide.

"It's cost taxpayers in Iowa and across this country nearly $4 billion in Medicaid and Medicare costs," Perry told a few hundred party faithful at a roast-beef-and-mashed-potatoes dinner in Greene County.  "This isn't just about the state of Massachusetts and the cost to them directly. It’s also costing you."

Perry, who did not take questions from reporters or the audience, cited a new study from the conservative Beacon Hill Institute that showed Romney's healthcare plan in Massachusetts had cost his home state 18,000 jobs.

Perry made the remarks at his first campaign stop in a 24-hour visit to central and western Iowa.

The Romney campaign has called the Beacon Hill Institute study "flawed."

"Governor Perry was clearly rattled by his poor debate performance in Tampa. As a result, he is trying desperately to distract people from the very serious questions that were raised about his record in favor of higher taxes, his support of tuition breaks for illegal immigrants and his attacks on Social Security as an unconstitutional program," spokesperson Andrea Saul said.

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