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. beevee

    Romney is undoubtedly the worst GOP presidential contender of recent times. He lies, he panders and then he lies. He seems to have no stand on any issue and voices no clear solutions except ballyhooing that he will do better than Obama. May be he is only talking to his rich friends who are supporting him, that he will make them richer at the expense of the middle class and the poor of this country. Voters ... be careful who you pick to run this country.

    March 22, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Jim

    I'm from CT, and my mother was in love with Romney but now she's for Obama having a second term. I was so relieved, what changed her mind was when he called the daughter's father that was saved by the seal team, she was in tears reading that story and said that with the experience he's been through he should have a second term now. Adults like her can be extremely stubborn especially in my family so this was a huge relief.

    March 22, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Wendy

    When did Etch-Face ever not pretend?

    March 22, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. FLIndependent

    Don't these Obama haters realize that it was a Repub idea for the mandate? I believe the Repubs like the mandate as it enriches the insurance companies, however it is the other parts of the Healthcare Law they are against that puts mandates on the insurance companies, ie pre-existing conditions, coverage to age 26, etc. But, they can't run against those mandates because it would appear then that they are against helping that segment of the population so they are using the individual mandate to try to tear down the entire law.

    March 22, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Rosslaw

    What do you call it when you can slip the knife in and not be going negative? Telling the truth. Plus, as Obama knows, its a heck of a lot easier to remember what you said the day before.

    March 22, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    @Tom Paine – Thanks for earlier. Never saw if the thanks made it in.

    The arguments using the Commerce Clause to justify paying federal taxes was that the government has the right to charge you for something that not charging you causes harm to others. The same argument has many later applications.

    I.E., the government can make you buy a fence for your pet mountain lions if you wish to keep them in your backyard. Not buying a fence puts the public at risk or forces others to buy a fence because of your negligence or inaction.

    If the conservatives had any brains they would make the same argument about people who pay little or no taxes that they are so obsessed about. Of course, they would lose that argument.

    March 22, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    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!"
    Yes, compliments of the Democrats a welfare society mentality has pervaded the USA. People now believe they are entitled to far more than they paid for. That was provided in the past through the Ponzi scheme aspect of these programs that always start out in the black but eventually end up in bankruptcy when the scheme collapses under its own financial fallacy.

    SS & Medicare are going bankrupt and taking the country with them. Obamacare will only accelerate the process. We are already seeing the affects of our massive debt and unfunded obligations. In a few years we will have no choice but massive austerity measures juts as we are seeing in Greece. They have lost control of their future and country because they failed to act responsibly. The USA, compliemnts of the Democrats, is not far from following them down the road to ruin.

    March 22, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. ShawnDH

    Uh, yeah. I think it's pretty obvious to everybody with a brain that Romney is a pathological liar and a complete phoney. And by the way, Massachusetts has under a 3% uninsured rate, the lowest in the nation. Romney should be proud of that, just as Obama is rightly proud of the landmark Affordable Care Act that has already insured 3 million more people as the first provisions take effect.

    March 22, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Bellimo

    the lib comments are so predictable .... just say something and its fact, might not be true, but who cares....ie Obamacare will reduce the deficit...funny thing, it already is costing twice as much as predicted....go figure.

    March 22, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Rudy, the example you cite shows something the righties can't, or won't understand, namely the doctrine of implied powers. Its something every adminsitration since Washington has employed. Unfortunately, you can't tell them about that, since that reality of governance would undercut every argument they make on virtually every subject.

    March 22, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. FLIndependent

    @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"


    Bet you $10,000 you're wrong!.

    March 22, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    I hate to break it to the righties, but Social Security and Medicare have enjoyed significant GOP support, until the fringe saw fit to drive anyone out who did not meet their purity tests. Now the GOP is this Stalin-esque group that looks for deviations from orthodoxy, all while prattling on about " freedom" and " liberty": those words are a punchline to them now. They mean nothing to the GOP, and the sad remnant that remains sits like a cancer on this country.

    March 22, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. vatoloke

    Two words only: Reversable Mittens

    March 22, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. The REAL Truth

    @Truth and Nothing But the Truth –
    You do realize that our current situation is a predicament that has been heading this way for years under BOTH Dem and GOP adminstrations. As I pointed out to you in another comment thread (yesterday IIRC) is that SS is NOT a Ponzi scheme (a convenient right-wing *label* to attempt *privatization* which would put yet more $$ in the hands of the 1%), NOR is it BROKE, NOR is it an entitlement. Getting something that I have paid into for 45 yrs is NOT an entitlement, no matter how you spin it. The program is supposed to cover population changes with future earnings. That is precisely why REAGAN (remember him?) first raided the SS **SURPLUS** to balance his DEFICIT budget. It's since been raided (by both parties) to the tune of $4.3 TRILLION (yes, TRILLION !!!) in Treasury IOU's. If that was RETURNED to SS, there would be no talk of it going bust. But then, the GOP and YOU wouldn't have any spoutrage to point. I'd have far more respect, if you backed up your commentary with a few facts that you did obtain from Faux Noise channel.

    March 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. ShawnDH

    There is a reason Obama is already crushing Mittens by double digits. The bizarre, OBSESSED rantings of right-wing lunatics here reflect a dying and proven-dead-wrong political and social ideology that has dragged the US to the bottom of the entire developed world on healthcare. education and poverty rates. The funny thing is...they don't seem to know the rest of the country and the whole world thinks they are disgusting, morally bankrupt people who endanger the whole planet so a few can prosper. No thanks.

    March 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Ben

    Frankly, I just don't know what to make of Mitt Romney. I have no idea who he is or what he believes.

    March 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Anyone feel the ground shake? That's Reagan spinning in hs grave at the thought of this ideological Gumby doll becoming the nominee.

    March 22, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @ jules

    Well stated! I believe an effective and true American President is not one who governs for a few but one who governs for all. After all, we are a melting pot of different classes, religions, races, and ethnicity of peoples who make up America. That is who we are and will always be and I'm so happy that President Obama cares about all Americans. I just have to laugh when conservatives say President Obama is against the rich because he says the rich should pay their fair share! I believe in a time of national crisis, whether its economic or otherwise, asking the rich to do a little more to help their country is not a means of punishing the rich. And if a wealthy American is willing to do more for his or her country in time of crisis, then I call that person a true patriotic American. Each and everyday we ask our troops to put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve these freedoms. I don't thing for a minute that asking the wealthy to do a little more is wrong because it is the right thing to do!

    March 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Man DeLorean

    Romney squandered a golden opportunity to stand up from the beginning and show the country that Republicans could do sensible health care reform too. It would have benefited millions and taken the shine of Obama's signature accomplishment. But that would have taken, oh yeah...guts. Instead Romney chose to back away from his own signature accomplishment and bow down loudly screaming, under-informed, over-zealous placard-wielders who think because they came up with a clever name for their movement that constitutes a mandate.

    March 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. FIELD1stSGT

    Your sick Obama. Romney's plan does not have death panels. Or calls for people to have numbers like 666.

    March 22, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Larry L


    "the lib comments are so predictable .... just say something and its fact, might not be true, but who cares....ie Obamacare will reduce the deficit...funny thing, it already is costing twice as much as predicted....go figure."
    How can it be costing twice as much as predicted when it hasn't been implemented? Check the numbers from the US Budget Office and come to your own conclusion. You won't get the truth from hate media so just turn off Fox News and do your own homework.

    Why would you be against requiring people who are getting healthcare by visiting the E.R. to pay for insurrance? Surely you know the high cost of the uninsured is being picked up by the rest of us in increased healthcare costs. Nothing is free. Do you really think any insurance company could operate without premiums from younger people in a healthy population? Could only the sick pay high enough premiums to cover the outrageous expenses? Could they accept people with existing medical problems like diabetes or other chronic diseases? Would they find it necessary to drop coverage when people got sick because of the bottom-line in premiums collected? Do the math. Ironically, many of the provisions of the current healthcare plan were taken from a Republican plan done before they were dedicated to obstructing all progress in America.

    I'll point out it's wing-nuts who keep trying to sell the "facts" about trickle-down economics and "job creators". None of that is supported by reality.

    It's almost funny that the only thing I can identify as one of Romney's worthwhile accomplishments is the very healthcare plan he's trying to ignore.

    March 22, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |

    Mitt McCain is going down IF he makes it to November.

    March 22, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. SlowGun

    @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"


    LOL...yea, just keep telling yourself that. Even your buddy Rush Limbaugh says 2012 is lost and the GOP needs to start thinking about 2016.
    But by all means continue to have fun in your little fantasy land.

    March 22, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Dave

    I like Romney and think he will make a great president. The big differences I see between the Massachusettscare and Obamacare – is that Obamacare was passed at a time when the country is in serious economic trouble (and can't afford another expensive federal program) and was also passed without any support from the republicans- who represent the other half of America. There needs to be broader consensus and input on legislation which affects so many people.

    March 22, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Lefty IDIOT!

    sensible.....Do YOU really think Obama cares? Do you have any clue how much money he is worth??? Do you know what kind of luxuries he has??? NO president has any clue what it is like being low to middle class!!!!!!! You have to have a LOT OF MONEY to run for president!!! I love hearing all you Lefty IDIOTS ranting about how Obama cares!!! I don't think ANY president really understands or cares what we low to middle class go through!!!! I am not a GOP member, nor am I a Democrat!!! Why would any of you tards affiliate yourself with either????????????

    March 22, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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