"We are confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld," President Obama said during a joint news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Updated 3:41 p.m. -- In his first comments since last week's oral arguments at the Supreme Court, President Obama said he is "confident" the health law will be upheld.
"I’m confident that this will be upheld, because it should be upheld," Obama said in a press conference from the White House's Rose Garden, flanked by the leaders of Mexico and Canada.
Obama noted that some conservative writers and judges who are "not sympathetic" to the law agree. "It's not just my opinion," Obama contended.
Of course, the court seems split between its liberal and conservative justices and the decision on whether the law will be declared constitutional -- to come in June -- very well could be 5-4.
Obama called the court an "unelected group" and warned the court against engaging in "judicial activism" by finding the law unconstitutional.
“I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years, what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”
He also made an emotional appeal about the law, saying that 2.5 million young people have been able to get health insurance through their parents’ plans since the law took effect, and that people with preexisting conditions would be able to be insured regardless of their illnesses.
"There's not only an economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there's a human element to this. And I hope that is not forgotten in this political debate."
The president also took on a question directed at his two foreign counterparts, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, regarding Mitt Romney’s comments that Obama does not have the same feelings about “American exceptionalism” as the rest of the country and that the United States’ influence is waning around the world.
Obama said he rejected Romney’s premise.
“My entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism,” Obama said, adding, without mentioning Romney’s name that he would “cut folks some slack” because “it’s still primary season” and Republicans were still in the process of choosing their nominee.