Obama cuts Republicans 'some slack,' defends health care law
April 2nd, 2012
03:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama cuts Republicans 'some slack,' defends health care law

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama gave the GOP a pass on Monday when asked about a recent comment from Mitt Romney that questioned the president's commitment to American exceptionalism.

"It's still primary season for the Republican Party, they're gonna make a decision about who their candidate will be," Obama said during a press conference at the White House after Romney was quoted by a reporter. "I will cut folks some slack for now because they're still trying to get their nomination."

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But he also defended his record, referencing his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which proved a turning point in his political career.

"It's worth noting that I first arrived on the national stage with a speech at the Democratic convention that was entirely about American exceptionalism and that my entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism," Obama said.

Romney, who channels his ire toward the president more than his Republican rivals, said on Saturday the incumbent president "doesn't have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do."

"And I think over the last three or four years, some people around the world have begun to question that. On this Tuesday, we have an opportunity – you have an opportunity – to vote, and take the next step in bringing back that special nature of being American," Romney said while campaigning in Wisconsin.

On Monday, Obama also defended another sticking point for Republicans on the campaign trail, the national health care law, the constitutionality of which was challenged before the Supreme Court last week.

When asked how he would guarantee Americans have health insurance if the individual mandate is struck down by the high court, Obama suggested judicial activism would be to blame for a decision overturning the law.

"Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said.

Critics of the law argue the individual mandate provision of the law is unconstitutional, but Obama said requiring individuals to have health insurance is the only mechanism to ensure individuals with preexisting conditions "actually get health care."


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Obama is the living embodiment of American exceptionalism, while Romney is just an exception to every rule and norm in this country: an aristocrat with offshore bank accounts trying to pass himself off as a regular guy, that's out Mittens.

    April 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Take it easy on them now. But once they've got their nominee, unleash the billion dollar war against them!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    April 2, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. David

    Between this and his earlier good luck comment, Obama clearly wants to run against Mitt.

    April 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Mike In Carolina

    If Romney's comment isn't coded bigotry, I don't know what is. Who is he referring to when he uses the word "we"?

    April 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Ed1

    That's because Obama knows his health care bill is crap.

    April 2, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Dan

    Why how gentleman of you, Mr. Obama... pfffft! Gimme a break.

    April 2, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    I will cut folks some slack for now because they're still trying to get their nomination."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Okay Mr. President, but when you decide to cut into them I want you to get X factor deep into their crap.
    Like the song says "...Not just knee-deep, he went to-ta-lly deep...". Wink ;)!

    April 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Laverne

    Thank you Mr. President for not getting down in the pig pin with Willard as there will be plenty of time to open up a can of whup ass on Mr. Romney in the coming weeks and months. Romney has underestimated our president just like the other republicans, but I smell an ass whupping coming his way!!!

    April 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. The-Least-Unelectable

    Cayman Islands is American exceptionalism?

    April 2, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. victor

    God is at this president's side. I have watched and observed the way he talks and do things. He is doing the exact teaching of Jesus christ that shows Love to people regardless of who they may be or where they may come from. He does not judge people. May God bless him and his family.

    April 2, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Scott

    Obama 2012 and beyond!

    April 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would hope that the court would understand that there is a need for people out there to have health insurance. This covers people that wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford it. Without the need for everyone to get in, then no one would unless their employer offers it.

    April 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. FED UP

    Not only is Obama the first black president and the first president to ever chair the UN security council while holding the presidential office, he is going be the first president to ever serve a third term in the white house. The Liberals really don't understand what their guy is doing. The last time we fought a legal war it was against a government who followed the same kind of leader.

    April 2, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. NYC REPUB

    Obama 2012!!!

    April 2, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. More Obama lies

    If the Supreme Court overturns ObamaCare ......it "would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law"
    (an example of judicial activism)

    and

    ObamaCare was..... "passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Obviously, Obama may have quit cigarettes, but he is still smoking something.

    April 2, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    The GOP's strategy of using social issues as wedges to distract people, questioning one's patriotism, fear, and war mongering is not working. What part of this do they still not comprehend?

    April 2, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "It is unwise to lower your defenses!" Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker as he suddenly tried to behead him with a lightsaber.

    April 2, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. B

    The only attribute Romney has shown us all during this primary season is how (exceptionally) he changes his platform with the audience in front of him at the moment!

    Jon Huntsman’s comment about him being "The best lubricated Weathervane" was right-on target. Later, of course, he endorsed him.....

    April 2, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    "doesn't have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do."
    --------------------------------
    Who is "WE" Mr. Silver Spoon?

    April 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Obama Doubling down on Socialism

    "Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said.
    ==============================================================================================
    They will do their job and protect and defend our rights under the Constitution. Something you FAILED to do.

    And what is whith the lie of it being passed by a strong majority? The American people rewarded the Democrats with the removal of their majority because of Obamacare. The American people are sick and tired of your lies.

    April 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Charles

    I think that it is funny that he (Pres. Obama) would say, "Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." Sounds like he is telling the Supreme Court how to rule.

    April 2, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. bill

    uhbamas arrogance is only exceeded by his ignorance.

    April 2, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Bootstomper

    I say give Kansas,South Carolina,Texas,Utah,Alabama and Mississippi
    To the Republicans and let the rest of us live in peace.

    April 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Obama Doubling down on Socialism

    "Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said.
    ==============================================================================================
    They will do their job and protect and defend our rights under the Constitution. Something you FAILED to do.

    And what is whith the lie of it being passed by a strong majority? The American people rewarded the Democrats with the removal of their majority because of Obamacare. The American people are sick and tired of your lies

    April 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Joe

    "...he is going be the first president to ever serve a third term in the white house. "
    Oh really? Read history much? Ever heard of FDR?

    April 2, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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