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. Liam

    @Liam- Umm, Massachusetts does not lead the country in any such way.... you are insane.

    February 28, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. CEL1

    If every candidate would simply admit their mistakes and come up with some solutions that are fair and which require everyone to sahre in budget cuts and tax cuts, rather than taking away what ittle the poor have, then it would help us the votres figure out who really does care about the American People. Right now, nobody does, based on what they are doing and saying.

    February 28, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. ja

    the presdent can give kudos, where they are due

    February 28, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Marvin

    Mitt, With Allen West as your Vice President you can get this country back on track! (Let West write your speechs....)

    February 28, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Tam

    How about caring about the people and their medical well-being and health instead of politics? Cooperation? Not vindictiveness?

    February 28, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. RINOVT

    Liam, Mass is in fact the 5th worse state for per capita budget deficit behind CA, CT, NJ and NY.
    And last time I looked, a certain GWB added two wars, TARP and the first auto bail-out to the deficit, all while cutting taxes on the 5% richest Americans. Talk about over the top spending! Where were you while that was happening?
    Dems: Tax and spend. Benificiaries: Middle class, working class, poor, education.
    Repubs: Borrow and spend. Beneficiaries: Richest 5%, CEO's of multinational companies, Bankers, China!
    Which category do you fit into?

    February 28, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Brandon

    Mitt should not have done anything he is not proud off.

    February 28, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Blaqmajik

    I like Obama more and more everyday. Keep it up Mr. President and we will see you for another four years come 2012

    February 28, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. FM

    Why people hate to hear the truth. The President is quite right in what he is saying. The Romney Health Care he accomplished and the current one are like "identical twins"!

    February 28, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Looking at one side of the aisle is not productive

    Republican or Democrat, I oppose the mandate. I want a public option, not a mandate.

    Yes, supporters of the mandate say that without it, insurance rates will skyrocket.

    I say, "Make my day."

    Do it, insurance companies. Raise your rates to levels even more unaffordable and see what happens. The public will demand a public option from our Congress, and the insurance companies will be history.

    If you want a public option, please speak out against the mandate.

    February 28, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. omegarising

    Pure political move. Putting on the old dog and pony show the closer we get to the elections. I noticed he also started wearing his American flag lapel pin a few weeks ago. Purely for show. This man has absolutely no substance to him what so ever.

    February 28, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. greg the progressive in jacksonville

    Terry from Va, your teacher called, she said it is naptime.

    February 28, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Guest

    Gotta love it. When Republicans suggest something and Obama says " Okay that sounds good, we'll go with that. " Republicans say "nevermind."

    February 28, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Jason

    Is it coincidence that a large proportion of people who do not like Obama come up with nicknames for him that sound like something a 12 year old would say? These same people of course believe that he is a muslim and born in the remote deserts of Africa. Not that the loons on conservative talk radio are telling lies, but perhaps their sources are guys like Charlie Sheen who apparently has "tiger blood". Wish I had tiger blood.

    February 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Naldoman

    "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."

    Yes. That's why Bush gave us the unfunded Medicare Part D mandate. Thank you, GOP for increasing the size of govt. and not paying for it.

    February 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. greg the progressive in jacksonville

    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.

    ---

    dude, i call B.S. ... if they even cared in the slightest it would have been done already. Healthcare has been a major issue for millions of Americans for the past 20 years. They simply did not care, and I doubt that they do now. They have been, are and always will be on the side of Big Buisness.

    February 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. mkjp

    It's obviously a purely political move to try and derail Romney's campaign. That being said, I am very glad to see Romney being taken to task for a decision he made in the past that no longer fits in with the new wave of ultra conservatives who he will have to win over to get the nomination. I suppose the down side is that if Romney won the next election, he might institute reasonable health care reform (i.e. not the nothing that the richie rich republicans want to see happen) and he will not get the chance if the republicans are alerted to his true feelings on the matter.

    February 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Sagebrush Shorty.

    Must get painful sitting on so many fences.

    February 28, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. BH

    ""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."

    Obama doesn't believe in state's rights, but he's more than willing to lie about it to sink Romney. Pathetic that he's running so scared so early. Really speaks to what his own people thing their chances are.

    February 28, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. De

    If the Gop is so sure they can beat the President, Why hasn't any of these clowns declared? Donald Trump may be wealthy, but he's not a politican. Plus, He would damage his brand by running for President. He's been married serveral times, has a ego as big as the world itself, and he too munch of a New Yorker. That city attiude won't play well down south with the good ol'boys. The right has all these people who want to run but can't win outside of the Gop. Obama will win in 2012 easliy.

    February 28, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Corey

    "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."
    LOL, how can something be constitutional in one state, yet un-constitutional in all? LOL, if one of you do it's ok, but if all of you do it's against the law.

    February 28, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Anthony R. Seta

    Romney is the leading candidate in the GOP field. All others seem weak and easy to beat – with the exception of Huckabee. This smart move by Obama and the other dems is truly brilliant. The GOP base voters are canabalistic tribe when it comes to primaries. I don't even want to get inside their dsyfunctional minds to try to figure them out, but I suspect that this anvil (i.e. MA Healthcare Law) around Mitt's neck may be the part of Romney's political past that can not be overcome during the primaries. This is good news for me since this will remove one of the most viable candidates from the GOP field – and those doing the removing will be republican voters. One can not ask or expect a better outcome to eliminate the one player in the GOP field with money and potential star-power. Well played Mr. President.

    February 28, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Agnim

    Annie, Atlanta, take heart; the media morons are not that into real news that would be worthwhile to Americans. They are into creating controversy & spreading gossip, in order to gain attention and advertisers dollars. Media is all BUSINESS, the sleazy kind of business!

    February 28, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Funny thing is that even if he DOES get Mitt, the HCR law actually requires each state to set up their own exchanges to their own standards.

    Even Mitt's rebuttal doesn't hold up.

    February 28, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. JohnGalt

    I didn't vote for Obama and probably won't in 2012 either. But as a political junkie, I just have to admire this move. It's one of the most passive/aggressive political ploy I've ever seen and it very well could knock Obama's biggest threat out of the game before it even begins – and he did it by paying Romney compliment. The speechwriter really earned his/her pay on this one.

    February 28, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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