By Sara Murray
Foreshadowing a Supreme Court ruling on health care this week, Mitt Romney said President Barack Obama will have wasted his term if the legislation is struck down.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Mr. Obama's health-care law, the signature accomplishment of his presidency, Thursday. Experts have gamed out the possible rulings from the court: to uphold the law entirely, strike it down entirely or overturn the individual mandate (and possibly related provisions) while upholding the rest of the law, among other possibilities.
Americans are split on how they would feel if the Supreme Court struck down the Obama health law, with just over a quarter said they would be very pleased and 17% saying they would be very disappointed by that outcome, according to a new WSJ/NBC News poll released Tuesday. Nearly four in 10 Americans said they would have mixed feelings.
Mr. Romney offered a preview of how he would respond to different scenarios in front of this western Virginia crowd Tuesday.
"As you know, the Supreme Court is going to be dealing with whether or not Obamacare's constitutional," Mr. Romney said. "If it's not --if Obamacare is not deemed constitutional -- then the first three and a half years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people."
The presumptive Republican nominee's comments Tuesday go along with his recent criticism that Mr. Obama was more focused on legislative priorities such as health-care overhaul than rebooting the economy. "What we're witnessing is a failure of the president's policies," Mr. Romney said."With regards to Obamacare he put that as a higher priority than our economy."
If the health-care law is deemed unconstitutional, it's sure to be a black eye for the president. But it could complicate Mr. Romney's message as well by increasing the clamor for the candidate --and Congressional Republicans -- to be more specific about the health care policies they would try to instate. So far Mr. Romney has been able to use the health care law as a rallying cry to pump up supporters that are opposed to the bill.
That approach is sure to continue if the law is upheld.
"If it is deemed to stand then I'll tell you one thing, we are going to have to have a president, and I am that one, that is going to get rid of Obamacare and we are going to stop it on day one," Mr. Romney said as the crowd cheered.