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. W33ZY

    I really don't think Romney will be the nominee. He may be a long shot now, but I think it might actually be Pawlenty. He's in 5th place behind Huckabee, Palin, Romney & Gingrich. We only know for sure that at least 2 of them are running. All he has to do is wait for them to implode, which is highly likely given their fatal flaws.

    February 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. NJfinest2009

    I guess now, you all may think Obama isn't that stupid.. He know's exactly what he is doing, getting these fools cancelled before the primary! Obama you are a genious, Mitt Romney started it, Obama finished it.... LOL He who laughs last, Laugh's the loudest...

    February 28, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Peter

    I find it hard to believe that the leader of the free world would say, "i'll give him props for his attitude toward health care yo." Don't try to hip it up CNN, he's the President. next time...try the word acknowledge...it seems more professional

    February 28, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. AZ Dem

    None of the current contenders on the GOP side are TRULY that threatening to an Obama 2nd term...they all come into the race with way more detrimental baggage than even Obama came in with leading up to the 2008 race. The incumbent president even unpopular is VERY hard to unseat...just ask George W. Bush

    Besides Romney has a lot to contend with any politician campaiging against a plan that HE created is automatically NOT someone who deserves my vote..if your political stances waiver with the direction of public opinion in ALL issues you better think twice before you want to become president Mittens

    February 28, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. KIM

    love it!

    February 28, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    The right calls it a political move. I say it is what we need. It should be two side doing tings that work for everyone. The right just wants to dictate what we need. They do not care if it works. It only matters to them if it make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    February 28, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Obama has made health care a huge disaster, that only time will demonstrate how bad it really is.

    February 28, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. xnu

    uh...oh....looks like man child obama is letting his fear of his future opponents show. crafty, crafty. unfortunately, while the healthcare law is a massive failure on obama's part, its going to be the high unemployment rate and stagnant obama-economy contrasted with romney's business career that ends up being the nail in the coffin for obama's second term hopes.

    February 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Matt Townsend

    Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

    The health care law is passed. States that believe they can do it differently can as per the law (and the President wants their ability to apply for waiver to use alternative methods moved up from 2017 to 2014). Now lets focus on jobs not cutting the recovery short.

    February 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Realistic

    "Ouch Mr.President" say Mitt..Now thats to funny and what a way to lay a smack down on that flip flopper from MA. The president smacks Mitt down with class and its so funny the way he did it..Good Job Mr.president.

    February 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. realitybites

    Hypocracy is as hypocracy does. By the way, the idea of expecting us to pay for healthcare insurance was passed by president BUSH from what I belive was (that great Libertarian Think tank the CATO institute). His administration didn't have any qualms w/ it. I wonder how the re screech agains would have voted for it if Bush suggested it. Anyone, hands down. OK. I'll give you a hint. YES and whole heartedly so b/c they voted for EVERYTHING that he put forth b/c he was a Republican. This has become a political football that the right claims is a Socialist Issue. Really? Did anyone ask me if I wanted to pay for Iraq or the Bush Medicare bill all the while cutting taxes to fund something we obviously couldn't afford? Wanna fight the world but, not be expected to kick in to help pay for it. Same argument for healthcare. I wonder who is now questioning the constitutionallity of auto insurance that we are ALL expected to pay for if we want to drive a car on our Country's and states' highways? Should we use the same old worn out interstate commerce law that was used to call the healthcare bill unconsitutionall? I'm all for it how about youi? See the slippery slope here? Yes Mitt is a Hypocrite. (Excuse my spelling of the word but, you get the point). He is a moderate who is trying to play to the wing nuts to get into office. Not a problem if Repubs actually valued moderates, John McCain tried the same thing. If Mitt became the front runner would he be smart enough not to fall into the same trap as McCain did? Are the Fundies ready for a Mormon president? Hard being a flip flopper isn't it Mitt? Hypomitt Romney 2012? We'll see. I'm betting aginst it. Sadly enough, he's probably the only one running who doesn't look to need a rabies shot, just a table spoon of castor oil.

    February 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. The unsub

    Obama fears no one!

    February 28, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. usualone

    It doesn't matter what the motive was for the President to make the comment. The fact that the plans are similar is important.

    February 28, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Name king

    Tuese fools won't even give the health care policy a chance, look at social security, it's probably the only entity that not sucking the breath out of the government budget. Health care is like that, imagine every one, putting billions of dollars in the program pushing down premiums and sending billions to the federal budget, that circulation of money within the united states. I am sick and tired of these repugs keep giving tax break money to the rich, and all they do is outsource the money out of the country, then scream out we are broke. I agree with them, because you repugs and baggers refuse to keep the money here, into american middle class and poor folks hands that will circulate it in the economy, and keep the money here.

    February 28, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Jilli

    C'mon folks, Romney wasn't a serious contender the last time around and he isn't again this time. Face it, he's a mormon, and the far right will NEVER permit a mormon to be their presidential candidate.

    On top of that – he couldn't buy the nomination the last time, regardless of how much he spent, he won't be able to do it this time either. Romney isn't a threat, but the gigs on Romney are worth it. Romney folds like a cheap lawnchair every time. He did what was right, and it was a success – but that goes against the republicans core beliefs.

    February 28, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. annie s

    Four and The Door, you crack me up. The Republicans want healthcare reform as much as the Dems? When exactly were they planning to work on it? The opposed Truman's attempts. Eisenhower didn't try. The opposed Medicare under Johnson. Nixon didn't try. Ford didn't try. Reagan didn't try. Bush 1 didn't try. They opposed Clinton's plan. Bush 2 didn't try. They wouldn't even come to the table with Obama's plan....but hey, we're supposed to believe the next Republican will work on it?

    February 28, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. meltemi

    My health care costs have jumped by an AVERAGE of 34% PER YEAR over the past three years. Romney did this to the citizens of Massachusetts. That's what you have to look forward to everywhere else.

    February 28, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. catmom

    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 |
    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    So, where is their plan? They have been telling us for the past two years that they have a plan. Why didn't they put that plan forward when the House voted to repeal health care reform? Republicans have nothing nor do they intend to have anything. They are hoping that gullible people like you will forget all about health care, period.

    February 28, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. ConservaFascists

    That's how you divert criticism Mr. President. If the Great White Hype Romney passed basically the identical health reform for his stae, why shuoldn't it be done on a national level. I want to here all of the hypocrite republicans opinion on this. So since Mitt passed his version of "Obamacare" I guess that rules him out as the republican nominee. Who's next up to bat fascists?

    February 28, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. John

    The beauty of this is that it gives a devastating answer to those who fault the President for not compromising with the Republicans about health care. He compromised at the beginning - his plan was a Republican plan from the beginning. But the Republicans moved the goal posts in order to be able to enflame the issue.

    February 28, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. whoa!

    What the hell is wrong with Obama complimenting him on a good idea?

    Are we so insanely politicized that we can't recognize and applaud good ideas wherever they're from?

    We've become so dysfunctional in trying to run this country that we're literally the "snake that eats its own tail"....

    February 28, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Peter

    Obama made a smart move to remind the American public that many Republicans were–and are–for about 80% of his Healthcare plan. Often the radio talk guys and pundits–and even some Republican lawmakers– like to make you believe that the Republicans are 100% against this sort of thing, but they are not and never have been. Makes good radio and good protest signs and good political ads, but just plain not true.

    By the way, to "Terry va": You call Obama "Obummie". Oh, come on. You can do better than that. What are you, 9 years old?

    February 28, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. LA, LA, LA

    Health care should start now not in 2014. My Insurance is costing like health and prescription copy has jumped from $25 to $75.

    February 28, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. BlackPanthers2020

    Hey all of you republican fools that voted them ( REPUBLICANS ) back into Congress , where's are those jobs that they so heavenly campaign for , if i'm not mistaken their budget proposal will kill something 700,000 jobs and yet they contentrate on destroying the midddle class , the poor and the unions , but I'll say it gain WHERE ARE THE JOBS ......REPUBLICAN PEOPLE !!!!

    February 28, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. w l jones

    Theirs nothing wrong going through the back door on healfcare when it will help all American rich as well as poor. Give the president and Mr. Romney an A-Plus a good ideal.

    February 28, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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