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. Dale

    Civility, civility; where is all the the civility? Oh yes, this is politics as usual.

    March 22, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. victor

    It's too bad that some voters feel left behind financially. Personally, surely it is how each voter feels as to the capabilities of the candidate he/she is voting for, not if he is rich, poor, a Doctor, A Lawyer or a Hairdresser and whether the candidate has the best interest of all of us at heart. Not rich, poor, South North, women, men, gay or otherwise. There are 300 million peple here. We are all different in beliefs, looks, size, shapes and inclinations. Candidate that pander to one group of voters make me nervous. Maybe I will not be in that group. Do I have to become an Evangelical Catholic to get Santorums good graces? Do I have to join the Morman Church to get my share of that President's attention? These candidates make me feel as if I am an outsider, that I don't live here. Obama on the other hand, seems to have thought of all of us, ignoring religions. But, religions don't like being ignored. Does that mean that if the President bends to religions, the rest of us who don't belong will feel like outsiders? Or do we have to join these religions in order to get our share of the benefits we get from the Federal Government from the taxes we all have to pay. Why can't we all share the tax burden and all share the benefits. Is it so bad to have and pay for health care so that those that don't have it, when they become ill and go for treatment, we the tax payers and Health Care payers pay for them? Does that sound fair? Not to me.The argument about the operation of the Government escapes me. Let every one pay their fair share and get their fair. Am I a Socialist, whatever that means in this country?

    March 22, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Fair + Balanced

    Willard thinks he can buy the Presidency. EGOMANIAC!

    March 22, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. katahdin

    Poor Mitt. His whole life is based on pretending.

    March 22, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama, I understood that you always show off. Plus you look like you are better than all past Presidents in USA.

    March 22, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Golden Girl

    People who hate Obamacare are not going to vote for Obama. So now Obama points out that people people who DO like Obamacare should vote for Romney because the main difference between them is that Romney can fix the economy. Obama didn't think this one through.


    Did you and I read the same article? What you posted isn't mentioned anywhere in the article above. Additionally, the only "economy" former governor Etch-a-Sketch has proven he's been able to improve is his own, and the economies of his closest friends.

    March 22, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Bill

    Let's see. Obama is dissing Romney because Obama's plan is just like Romney's or vice versa. Doesn't say a lot for Obama's plan or his logic.

    March 22, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mitt is not worth anything. He is still living in the stone ages with his Christianity based norms. This is the modern age, things change, and concurrently so do policies. Unless you are a republican, in which case you deny change, and live in pre civil war America.

    March 22, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Tom

    Wilbur "Mitt" Romney will not get my vote ever. He is too artificial. I think some toy company should make a doll that looks like him for children to play with. He would make a great male version of "Barbie."

    March 22, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. timothy

    Originally it was ALL about a government mandate for the GOP. Then they realized Romneycare was the outline and it has slowly turned into Federal mandate being the problem. Never mind the bills proposed requiring women to undergo and pay for an ultrasound if they want a legal abortion. Big government? Mandates?

    March 22, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. blindbear

    Vulture capitalists like Romney attack struggling companies, buy them, and then split them up, selling the assets at fire sales and shipping the jobs overseas. Good vulture capitalists need to have a source of funds to buy their prey. But what do they do when they've done a lot of deals? Like drug addicts, they go for bigger and better deals. What Romney's done is just take vulture capitalism to a whole new level. Forget buying companies. He's trying to buy a struggling United States. With the Citizens United decision, he's now lined up his financing sources. At his current cost per primary vote, he's paying about $13/vote. Assuming twice that in the general election, figure he's paying around $40 per vote. With 169,000,000 registered voters in the US, he'll need about 90,000,000 votes to assure a win. Using that math, Romney expects to be able to buy control of the US for around $3.6 billion. Even if he has to spend three times that much to gain control of Congress, he's looking at a $20 billion fire sale price for control of the country. Hell of a deal.

    March 22, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. WachetAuf

    The Republican model is based upon the free market ideal that prices are determined by the assumption that both parties can walk away from the negotiations. How can that be a practical reality in the healthcare markets? How do you lower healthcare costs without government regulation, in a market where supply and demand rules, where profit is the driving force and exclusions and deductibles will abound to keep benefits lower, where MBAs, not doctors, manage the system, where the young and healthy have no incentive to participate in the system, where the buyer of the medical product is not in a position to negotiate and has no bargaining power?

    March 22, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Justice

    CNN with the ridiculous headline again. "Obama slams Romney!", just pointing out similarities in plans without ever mentioning Romney's name. No where near a "slam". Enough with the dramatic headlines CNN

    March 22, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Justice

    LOL @ Mitt-O-Sketch!

    March 22, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. edpeters101

    The plan is working in MA, and I believe it will work in the USA. Can you imagine the pandemonium if each state had it's own health plan and you moved (to a new job, a better place to live, to go to school) and had to change health insurance? Would you be able to get the same care you were getting, would it cover per-existing conditions, could you get care at all? Health insurance should be nationwide! Time for the US to join the rest of the industrial nations of the world..

    March 22, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. erik

    Look up Mitt and really educate yourself on his past. He does not know if he is on top or bottom. He flips more than Flipper.

    March 22, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. normajean @ verizon ,com

    "MITT IS WORTH MORE THAN OUR LAST 20 PRESIDENTS"??????????This is the very kind of voter that has put us in trouble with administration after administration for years and years......Mitt Romney is a very wealthy man,has always been wealthy and has absolutely no way understand the problems of lower and middle class families that have struggled for years just to keep their heads above water!!!. He may be a very nice guy and been successful in some of his business dealings but he seems from day to day to change his mind about what he believes in giving him the nickname of "Flipper".. He is NOT presidential...You cannot run a country in this manner!!!!.

    March 22, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. edwin

    Mr. Etch A Sketch.

    March 22, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. V in Chicago

    @Victor – I think you make a very valid point. We are a country of all types of people and we need a leader that accepts that and is willing to work for all. It is refreshing to see a post so well thought out and reasonable. Thank you! There is hope for humanity afterall.

    March 22, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Obama was so dumb and clueless he had to steal his healthcare plan from Romney!! So who's the "pretender" and who is the smart person???

    March 22, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Jude

    PRETENDING?? That's what BHO has been doing for the past 4 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney lacks authenticity because he refuses to take ownership of past actions, policies, or statements.

    March 22, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    rommney lies and fire people for a living. what a liar this liar is

    March 22, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. patrick

    mitt romeny should go where his money is. it people like those who use this country for a free ride. then turn around to tell us how much we grudge him. he and his trust fund sons who are worth hundreds of millions of $ cant feel anybodys pain. will this great country of ours be fool again? here is a good question he claim how much compains he has created or turn around how about he (mitt romey) take around some of these people with him so people can beleive in him?

    March 22, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Romney is a good man who appears to be trying to buy the nomination and who has had to move far-far to the right to get the nomination from the religious conservatives and the Tea Partiers. Truly sad. The Republican debates consisted of each candidate saying all others are unfit to be president. Add the religious crazy of Rick Santorum ,where he would take women's rights back 50 years, and Newt, whose own party, because of his questionable ethics, removed him from the Speakership, and add the great amount of money he "earned" from Freddie as a "historian." What a group! How can any intelligent, informed voter consider any of these candidates? The best hope of this country – Obama in 2012.

    March 22, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11