The Ticket

Romney: To get rid of Obamacare, replace Obama

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Romney responds to the Supreme Court ruling (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Mitt Romney doubled down on his critique of President Barack Obama's health care law, arguing that Obamacare is still a "bad policy" that deserves to be repealed in spite of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It's a bad law today," Romney said in a news conference organized on a D.C. rooftop overlooking the U.S. Capitol building.

The Republican nominee said he disagreed with the court's findings and reiterated his pledge to repeal the law, vowing that "what the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States."

Romney said the ruling sets up a crucial choice for voters this fall, insisting that the only way to overturn the law now is to elect a new president. "This is the time of choice for the American people," Romney said. "If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama."

Romney offered no reaction to the court's ruling that found Obama's law to be constitutional. At an Atlanta fundraiser earlier this month, Romney told donors that he hoped the Supreme Court would "turn this thing down and say it's unconstitutional, because it is." But that talking point has been absent from Romney's public remarks in recent days. Instead, he's focused his message almost exclusively on the law's impact on the economy—a talking point he stuck to on Thursday.

At his news conference, Romney hammered Obama's law as a "job killer" and a "tax" that threatens to increase the federal deficit by "trillions." He said he would replace the law with a plan that tackles what he described as the real problem in health care: the rising cost of coverage. But he offered no specific details on how he would accomplish that.

Overall, it was a message that Romney has already echoed on the stump for weeks—and will largely remain unchanged in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision. Ahead of the ruling, Romney aides argued the court's ruling wouldn't impact their overall strategy, which has been focused exclusively on hammering Obama's handling of the economy. But aides privately acknowledged that Thursday's ruling is likely to further energize a Republican base anxious to remove Obama from the White House.

In the hours after the Supreme Court ruling, Romney aides were quick to tout a spike in fundraising. According to the campaign, more than $300,000 rolled into the Romney Victory Fund within the first 90 minutes after the ruling. A spokeswoman said the money was raised "organically" and not through a specific fundraising plea.

During his news conference, Romney was also silent on Chief Justice John Roberts, who surprised many Republicans by providing the crucial fifth vote needed to uphold the health care law and prompted some conservatives to call for his impeachment.

Amid speculation there could be upcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court, the Romney campaign has repeatedly said the GOP nominee would nominate a judge in the "mold of Chief Justice Roberts." Asked if Romney's view had changed after today's ruling, the campaign did not immediately respond.

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