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.

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"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.

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

    Lies and nothing but lies, what you are smelling is your head and the inside of your nose as you've had them up the backside of the tighty righties for too long. Shower, wash your hair and blow your nose and the smell will disapate.

    March 22, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Cathy

    I welcome President Obama's Healthcare Plan. We need it more than ever in America. Thank you Mr. President!

    March 22, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    Auntie Rose from Iowa, if Iowa opts out of ACA which state with ACA will you burden when you need medical services?

    March 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. FedUp

    Not sure how Obama has any right to call anyone a pretender.

    March 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Don

    If the American people have a choice between voting for Romney or Obama you can bet your last dime it will be Romney that is our next President. Heck, for that matter, if the choice is between my pet rock and Obama you can bet your last dime our next President will be my pet rock.

    March 22, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Riptim

    By the time mittens get to the convention his head will be spinning, he won`t be able to remember what lie he told and to who. Right now its easy cause he just babbles to what ever the people in that state want to hear, but when he has to talk to all the people at one time, people are going to say thats not what he said when he was in our state. Plus all the commercials that the Dems will run showing him saying one thing and then two weeks later saying the complete opposite, he will come off as a complete baffoon. Obama in a landslide

    March 22, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    So if the federal government can force us to buy health insurance why can't it also force us to buy unemployment insurance?
    ------------
    They already do. They already do. Every employer is forced to pay some form of unemployment insurance. I've already told you that the entire argument is moot because the concept has long since been established as settled law.

    The federal government has the right to make you pay for something if your not paying for it causes harm or damage to others. Period.

    March 22, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Now, now, who has been pretending for the last 3+ years? Hint, hint. It's not Mr. Romney. The blame/lying game continues...Next chapter, PLEASE!!!

    March 22, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Matthew

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    So if the federal government can force us to buy health insurance why can't it also force us to buy unemployment insurance? Sounds like a damn good idea right? I mean the federal government can force us to buy insurance for EVERYTHING so that we are covered for all the bad things that might happen. Yes, forced insurance purchase for ALL!!

    "Truth" NEWS FLASH" they already make you buy unemployment insurance. That is what the "unemployment pay" is. Repub call it an entitlement, but it is actually "INSURANCE". States make you buy auto insurance, just in case you hurt someone else. Well if you get sick and have to have $1M in treatment and then the hospital and the doctors pay when you can't. Then I get hurt buy having to pay higher costs for my treatment of the flu. Why shouldn't you have to protect me on that premise but have to on auto insurance?

    March 22, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Rick 7809

    "Truth and Nothing But the Truth"

    You have been listening to way too much talk radio. The biggest loss of citizen's rights and constitutional abuse in the last 20 years was the "Patriot Act" and we got that from that good old boy "W".

    March 22, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. mactsr

    We want a conservative conservative government in Washington. No more Welfare, Social Security, SSI, Veterans programs. Medicare, SSi. Tricare, or any other goberment give a way.

    We are Americans and need to start living like it. We Should all pull ourselves up by our boot straps.
    We should not be crying to the goberment for European style programs that take money from us that work hard for a living.

    March 22, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. S.positive

    Mr. Etch A sketch Romney is not fit to be president

    March 22, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Peter

    Look carefully at the comments here by Republicans. Not a one addresses facts. It's all mud slinging. The FACT is that Obama implemented a sound plan inspired on Romney's plan in Massachusetts. Republicans can sling as much mud as they want, they can suggest that the next president is going to be their "pet rock" or whatever. None of that changes the facts in any way. What we're going to find out in November is whether Americans vote with their heads or with their irrational fears.

    March 22, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. ART

    At least with an etch and scetch you have to shake it up to change the screen, with Mittens it only depends on which way the wind is blowing. I see MIttens all the time standing in front of car dealerships contorting with the wind.

    March 22, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. rjm

    Politics is so interesting. The President is basically saying "We like what Romney did so much in Massachusetts with healthcare, that we copied it for the whole nation". And that's meant as a criticism...

    March 22, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. GetEd

    So, Peter and the like, I understand then that you have clear arguments showing that Obama's health care act is different from Romney's in Massachusetts. Let's hear them.

    March 22, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. GetEd

    Sorry Peter, I meant Angus!

    March 22, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. lanmicwil

    How is this different from automobile insurance? By law, If I don't have auto insurance I have to pay $500. So, if I don't have my own health insurance I should have to pay something; might as well get myself health insurance.

    March 22, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. diridi

    GOP lost morality, and ethics, they bicker each other--------till November. then all subside, Obama swears in. Nation on right track, Fuel-Efficiency continues, Saudi goes bankrupt with OPEC yelling GOP to repay their BRIBE they took to safeguard Oil. Thus story ends.....

    March 22, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Rick 7809 wrote:

    You have been listening to way too much talk radio. The biggest loss of citizen's rights and constitutional abuse in the last 20 years was the "Patriot Act" and we got that from that good old boy "W".
    ---------------------
    I think even The Truth would be outraged if he knew of some things the Patriot Act allowed and the extremes to which the GWB adminstration to do whatever they wanted in the name of national security. I have seen "contractors" working for well known companies, which had to keep their presence and duties secret, who had their paychecks paid for through the Patriot Act. In other words, the Patriot placed people, calling them spies is a gross overstatement, within companies to monitor a company's clients in classified ways.

    But, I think you would be surprised to know that the Patriot Act is a detailed clarification of broad powers granted to the POTUS in the interests of national security contained in language of the Civil Rights Act. Instead of doing something that you might have to later defend as being legal under the CRA, the Patrtiot Act made those specific actions legal up front. No messy legal cases to get into the news stream.

    March 22, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    It's always amusing to watch and listen to the conservative arguement that if it's not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution ( or interpreted in a way they prefer), a law is immedaitely invalid and that any attempt to re-interpret a statute or the Constitution is somehow legislating from the bench ( unless it is according to what they want). No argument they can put forth here can erase the fact that Obamacare is Romneycare, and that it has worked in keeping people insured. If the righties on the bench want to strike it down, they will be legislating from the bench, much to the delight of the Right, and we can begin the whole circus all over again.

    March 22, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Honest Abe

    Obama has changed positions so often it is laughable. He was against the pipe, but is now for it. He was against Gitmo and the Patriot Act, but now is for it (plus citizen assassinations!), Obama has little room to judge. He's the biggest two-faced pretender there is.

    A federal 'healthcare' (insurance) law is MUCH different from a state law. I can move from MA, but I can't just move out of the USA.

    Romney > Obama

    March 22, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. A True Centrist

    The health care costs under the new law have already doubled!!! Almost an extra trillion $ projected over the next ten years. Nice job Mr President, keep deflecting blame.

    March 22, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. DrCole

    Rudy NYC
    Truth wrote:

    So if the federal government can force us to buy health insurance why can't it also force us to buy unemployment insurance?
    ----
    They already do. They already do. Every employer is forced to pay some form of unemployment insurance. I've already told you that the entire argument is moot because the concept has long since been established as settled law.

    The federal government has the right to make you pay for something if your not paying for it causes harm or damage to others. Period.

    March 22, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
    -----------------------–
    Here's the difference...owning and running a business is not a protected right according to the Constitution. It is a privilege. The individual state giving out the license to do business can deny or revoke the license and that has never been proven wrong in the courts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, due to Obama and the Democrats...if you are alive and a citizen, you must have health insurance or else you will be fined by the IRS. This is where it becomes unconstitutional. There is no longer a choice involved.

    March 22, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Jules

    Romney is indeed pretending – he is pretending that Barak Obama's resume ends with an entry for law professor or community organizer, which he sites in almost every speech he gives, but seldom refers to what President Obama has done as president except for saying the economy is improving. Only one candidate has the expreince to keep this country running and that is President Obama. He saved this country from financial ruin, saved the auto industry and all of the related jobs that go with it, including the local diners and businesses around the auto plants, he promoted and signed equal pay for equal work law that affects all women and their families, even those that are married. He passed Wall Street reform, which protects all consumers, has called for closing tax loopholes, found and took down Osama Bin Laden and many other Al-Queda operatives, helped to get rid of the horrid regime in Libya without losing a single American life, ended our involvement in Iraq, is working on bringing troops home from Afghanistan, has been working on solving issues for returning veterans, passed a healthcare bill that put more people on the insurance rolls than ever before, ensures that health insurance companies must offer insurance and continue insurance for the chronically ill, and on and on. Can Mitt Romney compare his background with this? Romney hasn't even held a job since he was governor of MA. How long ago was that? His only job since then has been running for president. This man doesn't get what is going on with the middle class, the working poor and those who live in poverty. He has never had to do without anything for his entire life. He has no idea what it is like to not be able to provide the essentials for your family or to save up or go into debt when you have to make a major purchase or to have someone in the family have a major illness. Romney's wife has MS and I am sure she has the best of care and good for her to have that. Too bad that an overwhelming mafority of Americans cannot afford that kind of care. This guy just doesn't get it. George W. Bush had at least a bit more understanding for those in need than Romney does and than does the Republican members of Congress. There is one man with experience at being president and handling all of the issues that go with that job – his resume includes economic recovery, job creation, foreign relations, defense of America, healthcare, education, and he also understands what the middle calls, the working poor and those who live in poverty because he saw that everyday as a community organizer.

    March 22, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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