STERLING, Va. -- Mitt Romney reserved some of his harshest criticism of President Barack Obama's health care reform law for the eve of the Supreme Court ruling that will decide its fate, labeling the law as "moral failure" by a president who chose to focus on healthcare, rather than jobs, at a time of national economic crisis.
"His policies were not focused on creating jobs. They were focused on implementing his liberal agenda. There’s nothing wrong with people having an agenda, but when the country’s in crisis, you have a moral responsibility to focus on helping people come out of that crisis," Romney said at a rally here Wednesday evening. "It was not just bad policy; it was a moral failure to put forward a piece of legislation that wouldn’t help Americans get back to work, and to focus the energy of the White House on Obamacare."
With the Supreme Court expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law – which includes the individual mandate -- on Thursday morning, Romney took the opportunity to batter the controversial law before a friendly, energetic audience, suggesting that Obama will spend a sleepless night tonight fretting about the future of the legislation.
"My guess is they're not sleeping real well at the White House tonight. That's the way it ought to be," Romney said. "And this is a decision, by the way, about whether or not Obamacare is constitutional, whether it passes constitutional muster. So we're all waiting to see how the court will decide, one thing we already know however -- we already know it's bad policy and it's got to go."
Romney went on to preview, as he did at a campaign stop in southern Virginia on Tuesday, his response to the court's possible action on the law. The former Massachusetts governor said that if the law is upheld, he would work to repeal it as president, and if it gets struck down, he would replace it with "real reform." Romney did not specify what such reforms would entail.
Democrats quickly pounced on Romney's critique of the law, pointing out that the federal law was inspired by Massachusetts’s health care law that Romney helped to enact, complete with an individual mandate similar to the one he now assails.
“In Virginia today, Mitt Romney cheered for a repeal of Obamacare, which was modeled after Romney’s own health care law in Massachusetts that he now runs away from," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said in the statement. "But Americans won’t be cheering for Mitt Romney after they learn that his plan for health care would allow insurance companies to discriminate against them if they have a pre-existing condition, kick their kids off their parents’ plans when they graduate, and charge women higher premiums than they charge men for the same coverage."