Obama gives props to Romney on health care
February 28th, 2011
12:07 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama gives props to Romney on health care

(CNN) - In a moment that Mitt Romney's future GOP opponents couldn't have scripted better themselves, President Obama Monday issued a full-throated embrace of the former Massachusetts governor's stance on health care.

"I know that many of you have asked for flexibility for your states under this law," Obama said during a speech to a governors meeting at the White House. "In fact, I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he's proud of what he accomplished on health care by giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions. He's right."

The universal health care plan administered under Romney's reign is among the former governor's biggest vulnerabilities as he weighs a second presidential bid. Critics maintain it will be difficult for Romney to attack the president on the health care law deeply opposed by most conservatives when he himself instituted a similar plan.

But Romney has defended the Massachusetts law, saying it was meant to be a solution for his state only.

"We addressed a problem in Massachusetts that was designed to solve problems for the people of Massachusetts," he said recently. "But it is wrong and unconstitutional to take what is designed for one state and say we are going to apply that in every state."

Still, the president and his surrogates aren't passing up the opportunity to tie Romney – considered among the early frontrunners for the GOP nomination – to the issue that has proven so unpalatable among Republicans.

In addition to Obama's comments Monday, current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a longtime Obama supporter, told ABC Sunday that "One of the best things [Romney] did was to be the coauthor of our health care reform, which has been a model for national health care reform."

And earlier this month former top Obama advisor David Axelrod said of Romney, "We got some good ideas from him."


Filed under: Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Brian, NJ

    Obama wants to make sure Romney is not the GOP nominee since that is who he fears the most. He wants Palin.

    February 28, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. mary

    Take that MITT!!!

    February 28, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Kyle

    Obviously, a political move. It looks like the Obama administration doesn't want to go up against Romney. They're already trying to hurt him in the Primaries.

    February 28, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    @briannj. Nobody on that silly of candidates can beat the President in2012. I am glad that he called him out on it because pretty boy from Massachusetts had a very similar health care plan in his state.

    February 28, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    CNN, instead of the political he said/she said, or the latest Palin attack on Michelle Obama, you give us news we can really use, like:

    According to a report by Moody's, the Republicans' proposed cuts will reduce economic grown by .5% this year and .2% next year, resulting in the loss of 700,000 jobs.

    Also, according to the same report, a shut down of the government as threatened by Republicans "could derail the economy."

    Wonderful. For those of you who put these guys back in office, was this what you were going for?

    February 28, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. ohio man

    Can you say " Checkmate" .. lol.. no what Mitt???

    February 28, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Mrs DemocratGirl

    Obama is brilliant. He is leveraging the country's dislike for his policies to make others look bad by association.

    February 28, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. A Real American

    He should also give props to Newt. After all, "Obamacare" is pretty much the healthcare reform plan suggested by republicans in the 90's in answer to "Hillarycare."

    February 28, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. J. Samuel Cook

    I don't think he particularly fears any of the candidates, as all of them are immensely flawed and eminently weak. Still, Romney has been lobbing bombs at Obama in order to placate the Tea Partiers and Obama is merely offering a response.

    No harm, no foul.

    February 28, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    How does anyone see this as a snub on Mitt Romney? The fact is, Republicans want health care reform as much as Democrats do, but they are confident they can do it without busting the US Treasury or buying off special interest groups.

    Romney 2012!

    February 28, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Video Guy

    Thank you Mr Romney

    February 28, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Isiah

    Forget the last FL Gov's hug. This is a kiss right on the lips. Bye Bye Mitt.

    February 28, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Todd

    Romney is one of the most viable candidates. Very shrewed of Obama to point out that Romney, in his more liberal days, made a health care plan that was even more liberal than Obama's.

    And Brian, I think that, while Palin is a joke, Gingrich (I left my wife for someone I would late cheat on, while wife had cancer), Santorum (Google is not hs friend), and Huckabee (God tells me to do everything) are all loser candidates. Romney is the only possible contender because he was more liberal. Any other candidate besides Romney would be easy to beat, and I'm not sure Romney wouldnt be.

    February 28, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. terry, va

    Smooth move by Obummie. He knows that health care is his weakness. Romney knows that his health care policy sucked and he better say so or he won't be any better than Obummie in that area. Romney has Obummie in all other ares though.

    February 28, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Liam

    Obama loves anything that drags down the enttire economy with over the top spending. Romney made a major error and as a result Massachusetts leads the country in states that are in worst financial condition due to this idiocy. Obamacare will go down as one of the worst pieces of legislation in our lifetime and the President takes every oppotunity to justify his liability that could drain our country for years to come.

    February 28, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. diridi

    Enough on Health Care law...o.k, It is passed as a law...now let us follow....and States needs to set up Health Care exchanges....even Senate, and congress needs to buy from these exchanges...just like ordinary citizens...o.k...If your insurance is charging more, then you need to go and buy state exchanges...simple...

    February 28, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. T'sah from Virginia

    @Brian, NJ – President Obama DOES NOT have to fear Romney and would NEVER want to run against PALIN!! President Obama is above all of that!!!

    Of course President Obama would give Romney PROPS
    He followed Romney's health care to almost every drop
    Now Romney wants to run away because his outlook looks grim
    He can run all he wants because ["We got some good ideas from him."]

    Romney, you can run but you can't hide from the fact that you are LINKED to President Obama and you cannot beat him!!

    February 28, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    Nice of Obama to try and sabotage Romney with his endorsement. Amusing for a buffoon that thinks the Constitution allows and our founding fathers would have approved of the federal government forcing a citizen to buy a product simply because they are breathing. And this dolt was a constitutional law professor?! Makes me shudder to think of the other constitutional perversions he passed on to the students.

    February 28, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. I hear ya

    @Biran, NJ.. are you serious Obama scared of Romney? puleez.. do u know wat the polls say about them facing off? even faux's

    February 28, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Attention right wingnuts! Even if you have ADD, you should know that the CBO said the Affordable Care Act would save $230 billion. Fox and republicans are lying to you.

    February 28, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Alec

    Another words even someone as financially astute as Romney can make a moronic decison on heathcare like me- signed Pres. Obama.

    February 28, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans will never support Mittens, as he is not one of them. He is a Mormon, and that puts him on the bagger hit list.

    February 28, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Darrell

    Liam...brother, you must have been sleeping the past ten years. A brief review: GWB took over country with a budget surplus, no wars, and happy Ams. proud to be in America. Fast forward, GWB left office leaving this country with two, count them, wars, tax cuts for the rich, and the worst recession this country has ever faced. In fact, 700,000 a months jobs were being lost thanks to GWB and his Republican friends. Again, fast forward, President Obama has helped this country get out of the recession...11 straight months of economic growth. Yes, unemployment levels are hire, but we are not losing a quarter of the number of jobs lost under Bush...Brother is time to wake up and join the rest of us dealing with reality...besides you not provided any facts to back up your statement...hope you are wake now...sorry you cannot deal with reality, but please try next time you post statements without facts. Have a good day!

    February 28, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Limbaugh is an IDIOT

    Romney can run away from RomneyCare, but he can't argue that what he THINKS is good for his state...is NOT good for the whole nation!

    Glad President Obama is calling him out it!

    February 28, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Dale

    Obama care is disliked by some for going too far, and disliked by others for going not far enough. Sounds like a pretty good compromise to me.

    February 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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