Romney: Roberts' decision appears political
July 5th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney: Roberts' decision appears political

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, who still pledges on his website to nominee judges "in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts," said in an interview airing Thursday the health care decision written by Roberts last week appeared to be tainted by politics.

"I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was going to come out with a decision I violently disagreed with - or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney said in an interview with CBS. The interview was taped ahead of a July 4th parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Wednesday.

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Romney said Roberts, who was nominated to his post by Republican president George W. Bush, had "reached a conclusion I think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion."

Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law, saying it was within Congress' constitutional power to levy taxes. Within hours of the decision, Romney reiterated his promise to repeal the law if elected president.

In the majority opinion, Roberts wrote the Court, while upholding the mandate, was not weighing "whether the Act embodies sound policies," saying that judgment was entrusted to lawmakers elected by Americans.

Acknowledging that Roberts is "a very bright person," Romney pointed out conservatives associate justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as models for judicial nominations he would make as president.

The speculation that Roberts originally sided with conservatives in striking down the health care law's individual mandate indicates his ultimate decision upholding the provision may have been political, Romney said.

'It gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation but instead political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government," Romney said. "But we won't really know the answers to those things until the justice himself speaks out, maybe sometime in history."

Romney's wife Ann, who also sat for the interview Wednesday, said she would "love" the option of her husband choosing a woman to join his ticket as a vice presidential candidate. Romney marched with Sen. Kelly Ayotte in Wednesday's parade. The junior senator from New Hampshire is someone who Romney may be considering as a possible running mate.

"We've been looking at that," Ann Romney said of selecting a woman for the ticket. "And I'd love that option as well. So, you know, there's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."

Asked if she had a favorite in mind for a running mate, Ann Romney replied, "I like to think that I have a few that I really like a lot."

Her husband, responding to the same question, said simply: "What she said."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Supreme Court
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Interesting observation. A conservative judge makes a politically motivated ruling. Fascinating. But, not surprising.

    July 5, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. The Dude

    "violently disagreed with" that a threat to the chief justice from Romney? I just can't accept that this is the best the Republican party can offer for the highest office in the land. What a pathetic, scary little man he is. I will not waste my vote on him or on any other of these so-called conservatives. The party of none is done.

    July 5, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. PJ/TX

    There is something very strange about MItt Romney. I can't put my finger on it yet, but that old nagging, gut feeling
    you get when you know something is not right is what I feel about this person. He is secretive, I think he has a
    temper and, he seems to come across as someone who, in his mind, should never be questioned about anything.
    Kind of a superior attitude that is unnerving. He had the rug pulled out from under him by Chief Justice Roberts,
    and he is reacting to it as if he was owed something.

    July 5, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. v_mag

    Yeah, but how are you gonna know the justice will be a good little person and do what you want them to do, Flipper? How do you know in advance that they won't just flip out and follow the Constitution? Your money might not be able to buy everything, which I'm sure comes as a real shock to you.

    July 5, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Andrew Morris

    So Romney's idea of the ideal Supreme Court justice is (a) someone whose decisions always align with his, regardless of the Constitution and the law; and (b) someone like Clarence Thomas who hasn't asked any questions for more than 6 years and never writes majority or even minority opinions.

    July 5, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. American

    Sadly, flip-flop Romney is now trying to "intimidate" the Supreme Court himself. In his own words before the ruling, "That will be a court following the Constitution," Romney said.

    Now Romney does not like the constitutional foundation, Mitt desperately makes his own political insertion in shameless hypocrisy.

    July 5, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. realitychecks

    Throwing Roberts under the bus...the man shouldn't even had to make a decision on the matter.The Republican agenda is not what is best for the people, Its defeat Pres Obama at our cost. Vote them out.

    July 5, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Lionel

    Romney's website promotes Justice Roberts and now he says his decision is political. Who is Mitt Romney. He'll say anything. I can't believe it.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    July 5, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Eddie The Barber

    Guess he'll have to change his website again – like he had to change his bood – and like he had to change hundeds of positions to be come the slippery devil we know and dislike so much. This man lacks the least bit of character – he's a jellyfish at best.

    July 5, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Rob

    I don't see how it is political. He voted against the political ideologies of his party and judged the law on what it is with regard to the constitution. All of the other judges I say voted for political reasons. Including the liberal judges. Isn't that what a judge at his level supposed to do?

    July 5, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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