Mitt Romney is poised to take advantage of either the defeat or the survival of President Obama's 2010 health care overhaul, he told a crowd in Virginia today.
As the political world waits for a Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act expected Thursday, Romney laid out two different talking points in a Virginia speech: One to use if the law is overturned, and another if it's upheld.
"As you know, the Supreme Court is going to be dealing with whether or not Obamacare is Constitutional," he said.
"If Obamacare is not deemed Constitutional, then the first three and a half years of his President's term will have been wasted on something that did not help the American people," Romney continued. "If it is deemed to stand, then I'll tell you something, we're going to have to have a president, and I'm that one, that's going to get rid of Obamacare. We're going to stop it on day one."
The rhetoric amounts to a preview of two different messages the campaign is likely preparing for later this week. If the law is overturned, Romney will spend the rest of the election casting Obama as an abject failure — an economic lightweight who wasted his time and energy on a misguided policy initiative, only to see it immediately dismantled by the Courts. The president has other accomplishments to run on, of course — the auto bailout, Dodd-Frank, etc. — but this was by far the most high-profile.
If the law is upheld, on the other hand, Romney will continue promising from the stump that, if elected, he'll be the guy to repeal Obamacare. Polls indicate that a solid majority of Americans say they oppose the Affordable Care Act, though individual aspects of the legislation tend to poll better when separated from the polarizing legislation. Romney will take advantage of the unpopularity of "Obamacare," as a political term, and continue his crusade to get rid of it.
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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