Obama says Romney's 'pretending'
March 22nd, 2012
11:28 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama says Romney's 'pretending'

(CNN) - Mitt Romney is "pretending" the health care plan he instituted in Massachusetts is different than the national plan, President Barack Obama said.

In an interview with Public Radio International that aired Thursday, Obama pointed to the similarities between the two plans, without mentioning the Republican frontrunner by name.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"We designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans, including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different," the president said.

The Massachusetts plan served as a model for the Affordable Care Act, signed two years ago Friday. Romney, the state's former governor, has since said the legislation was the correct course for his state but not meant as a model for a national overhaul. But the plan has proved a focal point of criticism aimed at the GOP frontrunner.

In Thursday's interview, Obama said Republican opposition to the plan, including the Supreme Court challenge, is politically motivated.

He said state governors will have a difficult time explaining resistance to the law to their constituents.

"When people see that in fact it works, it makes sense – as it's, by the way, working in Massachusetts – then I think a whole bunch of folks will say 'Why aren't we trying it as well?'" Obama said.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments next week over the individual mandate provision in the law. In their opposition to the legislation, some Republican governors have refused to implement the terms until the Supreme Court rules.

Responding to the president's comments, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul reaffirmed her candidate's plan to repeal "Obamacare ... on day one."

"Mitt Romney has always believed each state should be able to fashion their own health care reforms and, as president, he would replace Obamacare with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health care costs," Saul said in an email.

Also see:

Ann Romney urges folks to lighten up

Who does Jeb Bush want for vice president?

Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

New Democratic super PAC looks beyond 2012

Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. marcia

    All politicians pretend! Pretend they are for the people! But we know in our hearts they are all full of lies and deceit!

    March 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. NVa Native

    Interesting how all the Repub politicians seem to cry and moan about claiming to want to reduce the deficit – and at the same time they want to end the Healthcare Reform Act that reduces t he deficit – I guess they're just pretending to be Americans.

    March 22, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ Frank _Ohio and Truth and Nothing but the Truth

    July 2009 Mitt Romney bragged about his health care reform and urged President Obama to adopt an individual mandate to purchasing health insurance as part of national reform.

    March 22, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Mitt Romney is Zero Zilch Nada on Job Creation!!....putting his Bain Capital "Vulture Capitalist" experience of raiding companies & outsourcing American jobs aside, his record of job creation as MA. gov was 47th in the whole United States when he left office!!!

    This is the guy the GOP is propping up as the poster boy for ob creation...the same guy that founded "ObamaCare", was pro-choice before he was against it, was no Reagan-Bush before he is now a "severely conservative" TeaParty card-carryin member, was anti-gun before becoming a full-fledged member of the NRA, etc etc....

    get real America....Mannequin Mitt is an embarassment to Flip Flops and Etch-a-Sketch!!!

    March 22, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. independent

    I can't stand democrats! Romney will be are next president at least ann and him can laugh stupid stuff off.... If a republican would have made a statement like that obama would have sent the cia after him! Lighten up..... Romney 12, by the way obama mitt designed the health care bill only for massachusetts not the nation!

    March 22, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. D

    This argument is tiring..facts are these people that whine about having to get coverage are all mad because it holds them accountable. We are forced to pay for these people anyway thru higher costs because many of them refuse to be responsible. This law stops the pick and choose death panels the insurance companies have gotten away with for years and will stop us paying for those who simply think they don't need coverage. The only thing you can be certain of, is if you elect a Republican they won't regulate the industry and costs will skyrocket.

    March 22, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. king

    all those who are in favor to drop the obama plan and give your life over to GREED, and call it free market, well "GOOD LUCK". The only problem is, I will be a part of that free market raping, because i am an american citizen.

    March 22, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Wire Palladin, S. F. - Now the right wingnuts say that interstate commerce is no longer in the constitution.
    So you're sayng the Constitution allows the federal government ot force the American people to buy anything they deem necessary because all products are sold in every state?

    So they can force people to buy electric cars to stop the country from being dependent on foreign oil?

    And they can force people to by life insurance so the government doesn't have to pay to bury people or support their familes?

    And they can force people to take medicine that will reduce government healthcare costs?

    And they can force people to eat foods that are good for them because that will also reduce governemnt healthcare costs?

    So according to Democrats/liberals/progressives/communists the commerce clause gives the federal government the right to force you to do ANYTHING it wants. THIS is why these people need to be removed from office.

    March 22, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. John 3:16

    Yeah let's repeal Obama Care. Especially that parts about covering pre-existing conditions, the insurance company's right to drop sick people, and coverage for expensive treatments. America is all about "survival of the fittest"..and every man for himself......It's not my problem if you're sick......

    March 22, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Katie

    OBAMA 2012! Vote for a real leader*

    March 22, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    p, I have a feeling that romney is going to snap and lose his cool on national television during the debates, much like he does every time he is asked an unfiltered question. Unfortunately, the mouth breathing knuckle draggers will give him a standing O. Lucky for us there are a lot more intelligent Americans than mouth breathing knuckle draggers.

    March 22, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Bill

    This is an issue on which Romeny can not flip-flop, backtrack, recant, rework, deny, etc. Obama will eat him alive in the debates. Great stuff.

    March 22, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Chyrel Jackson

    Romney is more than a mass pretender his hypocrisy has no end. This man will clearly do and say anything in his pursuit of the oval office. I hope everyone is paying attention and staying engaged on all of this man's duplicitous flip-flopping. It's clearly evident this man is not what we need in the White House right now. God Help all of us if he ends up winning his election bid for the presidency.

    March 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "July 2009 Mitt Romney bragged about his health care reform and urged President Obama to adopt an individual mandate to purchasing health insurance as part of national reform."
    Yes, he did. What is so bad about it is all of the condescension that Romney put into how he said it. At the time, it was a conservative plan, not one fully embraced by liberals. Romney's "advice" was delivered as if he were talking to naive child. I also think that the last thing that Mitt Romney ever expected was for Pres. Obama to actually adopt the MA plan.

    March 22, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    We know Obama isn't pretending. He believes what he says. I will halve the Budget Deficit when I get in Office. Unemployment will not go above 8 percent. There is an Etch-A-Sketch coming. The Nanny State will get "Erased"

    March 22, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Mikey

    The telling remark was made by Romney himself. He said he is "running as a conservative". It is sort of like saying that Natale Portman played a ballet dancer in Black Swan. Of course, at another time, she played a fictional abassador in a Star Wars movie. She is neither a ballet dancer or a fictional ambassador and Romney is not a "severe Conservative". He's just trying out for the role of President using the adopted personality of a conservative, because his strategists think that gives him the best chance. I've got news for him Barack Obama is not playing a role, HE IS THE PRESIDENT.

    March 22, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Malory Archer


    I can't stand democrats!


    Funny how the tighty righties always accuse the dems of "hate", yet they're constantly posting things like the above. It's called projection and the tighty righites have a lock on it!

    March 22, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Auntie Rose from Iowa

    Mr President you forgot several important aspects - Mr Romney is going to repeal your federal Obamacare and give this right to individual states where the circumatances are totally different (e.g. when massachusetts passed its health care law, 92% of the people already had insurance. And mr president, you never called Governor Romney when you wrote your Obamacare in the cellar of the White House behind closed doors with no transparency (as you promised) - had you done so, Governor Romney would have told you emphatically that the MA plan is NOT good for the US in a federal mandated plan - these are very big differences Mr President but you seem to ignore them and are telling the American public distorted half truths – shame on you for playing politics with our fuuture - and good for Governor romney for promising to CANCEL and REPEAL Obamacare once elected as President

    March 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Under the Democrat/liberal/progressive commerce clause it should be constitutional for FORCE people to work instead of collecting unemployment. Employment crosses state lines and is far game according to them. Unemployed people cost ALL of us BILLIONS and BILLIONS so that cost must be stopped. All unemployed people must report to the federal government immediately for assignment ot government labor camps.

    If this is not acceptable to you, then you MUST buy UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COVERAGE or you will be FINED the value of it times two. Yes, the Demorcat/liberal/progressive Constitution allows this. Stop complaining.

    March 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Maybe I missed something, do the right wingnuts think you can opt out of social security and medicare, or are you 'forced' to pay into it?

    March 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. diridi

    Even Supreme court will Up-hold this Nation's dire needed law. Nothing says this law is unconstitutional in our constitution.
    No provision postulates so. Obama2012.

    March 22, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. pkbkr

    Our president had the courage to tackle the health care problems in this country for ALL Americans! I pray that the Affordable Health Care Act is finally understood as what we need in this country, and that the scare tactics used by palin and her crew are seen for what they are!

    March 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    People from red nanny states should not complain because they get more money back from the federal government than they send in.

    March 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Jeff in San Diego

    Smart move. Obama should cheer for Santorum to be nominated. He needs to draw parallels between Affordable Care Act and Romneycare all the time. Santorum can only win the nomination now if Newt runs with him, by sharing their delegates to beat Romney. Santorum and Newt together will alienate the women's vote and Obama will cruise into a second term.

    March 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Malory Archer
    I can't stand democrats!
    Funny how the tighty righties always accuse the dems of "hate", yet they're constantly posting things like the above. It's called projection and the tighty righites have a lock on it!

    They mean they can't stand the smell of Democrats. Very poor hygiene.

    March 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11