The 2012 GOP presidential nominee waded into the policy fight over possibly defunding President Obama’s signature health-care law in the budget battle set to resume in September. Romney rejected a strategy proposed by leading congressional Republicans – including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a leading Romney surrogate last year – who are threatening not to pass a year-end budget bill if it includes funding for the health-care law.
“Emotion is understandably at play in Washington among some of our fellow Republicans,” Romney said, according to his prepared remarks. “I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government. What would come next?”
Oh, I don’t know, maybe another Republican-imposed debt-ceiling crisis?
What will be interesting to watch in the coming days and weeks is whether Romney’s advice of GOP restraint makes a shutdown more or less likely. On the one hand, the let-cooler-heads-prevail contingent within the Republican Party now have the party’s most recent national candidate – and his running mate – agreeing that the GOP needs to step back from the brink.
On the other hand, the Rubio-Cruz-Lee wing will very likely respond, “Why should we take advice from the guy who lost?”
In the same remarks, Romney said of the economy, “I must admit, it has been hard to watch or read the news. What we feared would happen is happening.”
For the record, since Election Day, the nation has created 1.8 million jobs; economic growth has improved; and the stock market has soared. (We’d be in even better shape were it not for spending cuts imposed by Romney’s allies.)
It’s unclear what Romney “feared” or what he thinks is “happening.”