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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Romney tries to clean up Etch A Sketch mess

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Still think Obamacare is bad for America? Well haven't you had a chance to go on the internet and read the benefits this legislation and what it is designed to provide the American people? If you haven't, then let me fill you in: The healthcare legislation is geared towrads reducing premiums and safeguarding against pharmaceutical companies increasing the prices of generic drugs and exploiting Americans most vulnerable, particularly seniors and the very sick. It also safeguards against discrimination of those with pre-existing conditions and it provides for dpendents to remain on their parent's premium until the age of 30. It is going to make health insurance affordable for an additional 30 million Americans and it is structured to reduce our national deficit by half a trillion dollars over a ten year period. That is what I call fiscal responsibility and looking out for your most important asset, the American people. And personally, I believe a healthier America is simply a stronger America!

    March 22, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Dr Knowitall

    Just like Obama is pretending he is helping the US economy.

    March 22, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Allyse

    Obama...isnt it ironic you called romney a pretender?

    March 22, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. JustAO

    End Obamacare? Why? What do you propose...go back to insurance companies having all the power and placing profits over good medicine and quality medical practice?

    When key provisions of "Obamacare" go into affect, everyone will be screamin, "keep your hands off my "Obamacare". These same arguments against "obamacare" are the same ones said for medicare.

    Just because you don't like the fact that we have a non-white democratic president, doesn't mean you have to be against everything he proposes.

    We'll keep throwing out the 'race card' argument because Republicans started the whole 'race card' argument when they kept putting this Presidents citizenship/religion into question back in 2008.

    March 22, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    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 ..................................
    Exactly. When you point out their hypocrisy when it comes to the 2nd Amendment they go ballistic. I love to point out that the 2nd Amendment does not grant you the right to carry semi-automatic handguns or AK-47s. They argue about intent. I counter that that the intended "arms" when that was written was a *musket*, which did not have machined, interchangeable parts. They can own all of the hand built, one of a kind muskets they wish, as far as I'm concerned.

    March 22, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. R.T., MD.

    Simple: Tea/Republicans think health care is a privilege that should be run as a for-profit endeavor with profits first, people next. Democrats think it's a constitutional right ("life, liberty..." where life = health) with people first, then profits or even non-profit endeavors second.

    March 22, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Moderate Sean


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

    March 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |

    FedUp, it is called "Freedom of Speech", something many Conservatives/Tea Party members/Rethugicans do not like about other points-of-view, particuarly when they differ, or completely veer from the strict right wing party idealogy!!

    The President is also a candidate for re-election and can certainly highlight the major differences and negatives of his opponent(s). If you don't like what he had to say, understanding it was critical of Romney and how he is viewed by a large number of people in this country (Both within and outside the Republican Party), then obviously don't vote for President Obama. But, don't criticize him for telling it like it is and informing voters who are open to other points-of-view, as well as the facts!

    In my opinion, Romney isn't so much an Etch-a-Sketch, but more like a Slinky! And should you have forgotten what that is, here is a reminder: "a Slinky is a toy consisting of a helical spring that 'stretches' and can bounce up and down. It can also perform a number of interesting 'tricks'" too!

    March 22, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Vic of new York

    Here again CNN failed to do the public service by calling attention to the number of public references in which Mitt Romney did in fact recommend his Massachussetts plan as a national model.

    The Romney campaign has been one of the most deceptive campaings in modern American history. Never as a candidate lied so frequently and unabashedly. Mr Romney has even lied about his lies when he has denied remarks that are clearly in the public record. CNN needs to be more forethright in giving its subscribership the honest facts – no matter how hard to swollow.

    March 22, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. nagrom

    Honest Abe. By the sounds of it you probably should move out of the country. I tell you one thing. Something people don't realize with Romney. The MA job creation under Romney showed we were 47 out of 50 for job development. So the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Companies bought and closed people laid off jobs sent oversees Money invested in foreign investments. Good ol Romney. NOT!!!!

    March 22, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. mike

    The shoe fit's Romney. Time to tell the truth. Healthcare was broken and Obama fixed what Congress would allow.
    But we still have more work to do. When the Republican / Tea Party get voted out in 2012 he can finish what he

    March 22, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. chill

    So how efficient is it to have 50 different sets of rules that have to be dealt with? How can individual states reduce health care costs when they are dealing with the huge national conglomerates that control healthcare in this country as providers and insurance companies. The GOP wants to sell this homey little vision of the patient and his or her country doctor. That's gone with the buggy whip factories. We need a national policy and process that promotes cost savings and best practices to drive down those costs. The funny thing is that if we went with a single payer system like Medicare for alla nd taxed everyone to pay for it, there would be NO court case since there is no question the government has the power to tax as opposed to charging a fee if you don't purchase a policy on your own.

    March 22, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. GrouchyKat

    Pot meet Kettle.

    March 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. mike

    Real Americans dont keep there money in Swiss Bank Accounts like uot of touch Romney.

    March 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    DrCole, by your logic, then auto insurance falls under the same heading, since there is no protected right to having transportation under the Constitution. How do you explain auto insurance being mandated?

    March 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. sensible

    Yeah....free market reforms....translation: robbing the people!

    March 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Keyser Soze


    Now, now, who has been pretending for the last 3+ years? Hint, hint. It's not Mr. Romney.
    Too easy. Willard has. Mr. Romney was Willard's dad. Willard the etch-a-sketch has been campaigning and lying for the last 3 years, pretending to be whatever he thought would get him a vote. Too bad for Willard that in the digital age, it is not difficult to find numerous instances where he stood on the other side of a key issue. Silly Willard.
    Faux Noise has been pretending, too. Pretending to be fair and balanced and accurate with their "reporting"

    March 22, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Taran

    I see the vitriol from the left continues.

    March 22, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. sensible

    Obamacare....because Obama cares!!!!(Not like the thugs on the right!)

    March 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. diridi

    In a simple terms, GM=Alive, Bin Laden=killed. Passed lot of reforms, because of them, today stock market did not collapse, like GOP idiots era. This is what Obama did, and will do in next term. GOP idiots cry. o.k, No more wars, o.k, No Bain-Capital. Period.

    March 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. longtooth

    Everyone was against Social Security. Now politicians call it the "Third Rail". In other words, don't touch it!
    Everyone was against Medicare. Now politicians won't consider dismantling it, except for a few idealogues who will lose office next election.
    The time will come when Romney will say, "Yes, I am the father of Obamacare!"

    March 22, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. American

    Romney is also pretending that he he did not promote Romneycare for the national level. When in fact, Romney called for the same healthcare as President Obama.

    Romney has been sadly the biggest pathological liar & flip-flopper ever witnessed on the political stage. Disappointing.

    March 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. sensible

    It's not etch-a-sketch....it's mitts-a-sketch!

    March 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Mark

    Romney does come across as ostentatious. I think he thinks that one must do a lot of acting to be president, be all things to all people, play the role, be what people want you to be. I think he thinks that being in-genuine is part of what it takes to be president. Maybe a little but I think people always look for the real person inside. I think Romney might have a hidden low self esteem because he is frantically hiding the inside part. Either that or he thinks people vote for people who play the role well. Either way he loses because nobody wants a player or a person with hidden low self esteem.

    March 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Someone recently said that opening a business was not a consitutionally protected right, so it is unconstitutional to fine or tax someone for not having incusrance. Based on that logic, your car insurance is also unconstituional, since there is no provision in the Constitution saying you must have a horse or a means of getting someplace other than your feet. In spite of that, auto insurance is mandated for safety reasons: Now, how can you make a constitional argument in favor of auto insurance and not health insurance? Both serve a purpose that is NOT spelled out in the Constitution, and one has survived court challenges and remains a part of our daily lives. No one is complaining about that.

    March 22, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. sensible

    I want to start a company and market a new product called "Mitt's Grits"! It would be thin and runny and not stand for anything, but it sure could buy votes!

    March 22, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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