Nightly News | May 12, 2011
>>> now we turn to presidential politics , and republican contender mitt romney , he would like to be president and today he tried to pull off a tough trick. defending the health care plan he passed when he was governor of massachusetts , that many regard as the model for the obama health care plan. we get the story from our chief white house correspondent chuck todd .
>> reporter: mitt romney had hoped to put his health care policy problems behind him today. but the conservative " wall street journal " editorial page would have none of it. insighting serious flaws in the republican candidacy.
>> i did what was right for the people of my state.
>> reporter: by the time he got to a classroom at the university of michigan this afternoon, he was on the defensive.
>> a lot of pundits are saying i should stand up and say this was a manage take. there's only one problem with that, it wouldn't be honest.
>> reporter: he passed a law that would require everyone in massachusetts to have health insurance . a model for obama 's health care reform .
>> one similarity that i know bothers people a lot, is that there's a mandate in the massachusetts plan that i put in place.
>> reporter: romny's defense, it's a state's right.
>> our plan was a state solution to a state problem. and his is a power grab by the federal government .
>> reporter: he didn't embrace the mandate with the same gus toe he has in the past.
>> if a state chose a mandate, it wouldn't bother you?
>> i think it's a terrific idea.
>> reporter: he has a long record of tackling health care reform in his state.
>> i want universal coverage. i want everyone in massachusetts and the united states to have coverage.
>> i agree with mitt romney who recently said he's proud of what he accomplished on health care in massachusetts .
>> reporter: romney said he would work on a plan to replace obama 's.
>> many people say the mitt romney reforms is a lot better than obamacare.
>> reporter: he has to convince conservatives in his own party that his plan is different.
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