Romney: Roberts' decision appears political
July 5th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney: Roberts' decision appears political

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, who still pledges on his website to nominee judges "in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts," said in an interview airing Thursday the health care decision written by Roberts last week appeared to be tainted by politics.

"I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was going to come out with a decision I violently disagreed with - or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney said in an interview with CBS. The interview was taped ahead of a July 4th parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Wednesday.

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Romney said Roberts, who was nominated to his post by Republican president George W. Bush, had "reached a conclusion I think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion."

Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law, saying it was within Congress' constitutional power to levy taxes. Within hours of the decision, Romney reiterated his promise to repeal the law if elected president.

In the majority opinion, Roberts wrote the Court, while upholding the mandate, was not weighing "whether the Act embodies sound policies," saying that judgment was entrusted to lawmakers elected by Americans.

Acknowledging that Roberts is "a very bright person," Romney pointed out conservatives associate justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as models for judicial nominations he would make as president.

The speculation that Roberts originally sided with conservatives in striking down the health care law's individual mandate indicates his ultimate decision upholding the provision may have been political, Romney said.

'It gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation but instead political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government," Romney said. "But we won't really know the answers to those things until the justice himself speaks out, maybe sometime in history."

Romney's wife Ann, who also sat for the interview Wednesday, said she would "love" the option of her husband choosing a woman to join his ticket as a vice presidential candidate. Romney marched with Sen. Kelly Ayotte in Wednesday's parade. The junior senator from New Hampshire is someone who Romney may be considering as a possible running mate.

"We've been looking at that," Ann Romney said of selecting a woman for the ticket. "And I'd love that option as well. So, you know, there's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."

Asked if she had a favorite in mind for a running mate, Ann Romney replied, "I like to think that I have a few that I really like a lot."

Her husband, responding to the same question, said simply: "What she said."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Supreme Court
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    So the one of 9 that doesnt vote on party lines is the political one?
    Hey GOP, the Supreme Court isn't a body there for your party gains....

    July 5, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Doesn't this guy know John Roberts is conservative appointed by GWBush??????? Pathetic. Nonsense. Is this guy vying for well-regulated, well-off nation on earth, nation????? Shame, this guy is a joke to USA and world.

    July 5, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was going to come out with a decision I violently disagreed with – or vehemently, rather, disagreed with,"◄

    IDIOTIC STATEMENT- I thought ALL DECISIONS should be based on the Constitution and Law – regardless as to whether or not YOU agree!!! I did not hear an outcry over the Citizen United results – Where was the outcry from the Right??

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 5, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. John

    So now Mitt Romne3y Is a Mind reader, And he say he wouldn't elected a Judge that wouldn't agree with him. This Is Wrong, a Judge should go by what the Law say ,not about who elected Him. But the way Mitt Romney Is he will change his mind. It will be another Flip-Flop on his part.

    July 5, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. Cunning Stunts

    Sour grapes.

    Dear Mittens, try holding your breath and stomping your feet.
    How is it possible that its politically motivated
    when Roberts is a conseravtive appointed by Bush ?
    Just maybe Roberts upheld the law & the constitution.

    Sorry Mitt, but corporations are NOT people.

    July 5, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  6. Steve, New York City

    Romney is yet to clue in anyone, as to what he plans to do if he gets elected.
    The only thing we've heard from him is that Obama is terrible. While that tone will go far with the Birthers and the Tea Party, most people would rather vote for someone who actually has a plan.

    Let's see whether his VP pick will help or hurt his campaign (McCain's 2008 pick, Ross Perot's 1992 pick, and BOTH PARTIES' VP picks during the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election were unbelievably bad)!

    July 5, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. Mgc tampa

    Wow, this non lawyer wants to appoint a judge who agrees with him, he disagrees with roberts decisiion even though he knows nothing about the constituion. Hey Mitt, what do you know about the law and why should anyone care what you think, you are a venture capitalist, not a attorney.

    July 5, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. SCAtheist

    Even if the decision was made for some reason about the relationship between branches of government, how is that political?

    July 5, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Jill

    One of the most important principles of supreme court justices is that they are not OWNED by the President or the electorate. The do not have to run for office and bend to the political winds of the day. Romney should know that.

    July 5, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Romney's most amazing remark about Justice Roberts' written opinion is that Romney claims that Chief Justice declared that what states like Massachusetts did is consititutional and not a tax. Roberts said nothing of the kind.

    FACT: In case you missed it, Chief Justice Roberts wrote both the majority opinion AND the minority opinion.

    July 5, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  11. Milton K. Wiah

    Poor Romney. He could not say anything right without consulting his base. This interview shew that he did not
    consult anyone in his campaign before getting this interview. How could he say a man who sided with
    conservatives justices in many cases, a conservative chief justice, nominated by a Republican president, is not, in interpreting his choice of words, a conservative because he agreed with liberal justice to uphold the health care law.
    Would it be political if all the socalled conservative justices strike down the law? What a joke is this man who wants to be president of the United States.

    July 5, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Jim

    More proof that Mitt Romney has no core values.

    Another Romney flip-flop, Roberts was Republicans' secret weapon. Everything he did was "Constitutiona", "by the book."

    The first time Roberts doesn't agree with Republicans, "it's political."

    July 5, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  13. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Well if Citizens United is any inidcation, CJ Roberts also believes corporations are people too.
    Willard the Taxman is also contradiciting himself....

    July 5, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Nameeverette

    Nobody wants to be affiliated with losers like Romney . You can't buy the general election . Flip Flopper !

    July 5, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. Core republican Values

    Core republican Value #4: When you have no integrity (Romney), the best thing to do is attack people with the most integrity (John Roberts).

    July 5, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  16. MiddleClassTax?!?!

    So, because he voted against your POLITICAL PARTY'S STANCE, that makes him a political judge... right...

    July 5, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. pbk

    Wait a minute!! Isn't the term "activist judges" a standard for the GOP? Romney doesn't have a clue here.

    July 5, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  18. Guest

    "I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was going to come out with a decision I violently disagreed with – or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney said

    Of course Roberts's decision was political. It was political because every POTUS that appoints a nominee seems to have this same thought, and when you expect someone to make a decision based on what YOU want instead of what they interpret the LAW as allowing, then it is a political decision. Don't complain about the results of the system and then turn around and support that same system in your next sentence.

    July 5, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  19. The Savage

    The trouble with his talking about decisions that he doesn't agree with is that he changes what he agrees with every month or so. So yes, that does make it hard to choose judges, or do much of anything else.

    July 5, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  20. enuff

    Romney is right in saying he doesn't know the answers. It is not about choosing who will agree with everything the president wants... it's about interpreting the LAW. It sounds like Romney is the one who would make it political. The fact that a conservative justice voted to uphold the healthcare act makes Romney suspicious makes me even more nervous of him as a candidate. He attacks those with opposing opinions (of whichever group is telling him to jump this week) way too easy.

    July 5, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Danny

    sounds like the decision was political? If you place a judge on the bench that has the same views as you and one that you would not disagree with, isn't that a your politics making that decision?

    Also on the second part of the story, what she said, So I guess Mrs. Romney will be making the big decision such as choosing your vice president, what should be done about the economy, stand on women's right, taxes, heath care, so I guess we will have our second women President, first was Mrs. Bill Clinton.

    July 5, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. Dave

    Blah, blah, blah. All this clown does is criticize and complain without offering any ideas and substance of his own. Add that to his pathetic flip-flopping and Romney looks like a bigger joke every day.

    July 5, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Stephen

    Romney will sure win over the independents in this country (the ones that are left that is) with stupid statements like this...he also would never nominate someone who he "vehemently disagreed with"...Really? Aside from the fact that he certainly agreed with this law when it was his own in Mass....Does the 3rd independent branch of our government now must agree with whatever the Presidential branch? Can one not even be nominated for the Supreme Court now unless they are a clone of the executive branch?....Obama really doesn't need to put a lot of effort into winning this election–just let his opponent keep speaking like this.

    July 5, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  24. Norma Vessels

    How can Justice Robert's decision on the Healthcare be political! He's a Republican, for Pete's sake, but he went
    against his party TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION! The other Republican justices jut went along and voted
    their party line. When will you get anything straight!

    July 5, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. John, PA

    Of course Roberts decision was political! Why are the four liberals never questioned on their vote, meaning they always vote liberal. It’s time to remove Roberts and the four liberals on the Supreme Court and replace them with members how will follow the constitution. Impeach these five members in January 2013.

    July 5, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
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