Mitt Romney’s running mate remains undecided, but several vice presidential possibilities are already making their voices heard on one contentious election issue: President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on its constitutionality Thursday morning. Due to Romney’s own controversial past health care legislation — whose Massachusetts plan was called the “blueprint of Obamacare” by Republican challenger Rick Santorum — Romney’s campaign likely needs a strong anti-Obamacare running mate.
Another reason Romney would like someone with a strong stance against Obamacare: A recent Reuters poll found that 77 per cent of Republicans would be more likely to vote for a candidate if he or she ran on a platform of repealing Obama’s health care legislation.
And there’s no shortage of anti-Obamacare Republican candidates.
While campaigning for his own presidential primary run, the former Minnesota governor dealt a cold blow to the Romney campaign by connecting Obamacare to Romneycare, calling it 'Obamneycare,' in August 2011.
Pawlenty did double back on his words, saying that he 'should have been more clear' in the debate.
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Pawlenty issued an executive order to Minnesota agencies to reject all discretionary funding from the law. It's clear that Pawlenty has stayed firm on his opinion of Obamacare, but his stance against Romneycare could come into play if he's chosen as the nominee.
Rubio led the fight against the Obamacare mandate that required religious institutions to offer employees' coverage for contraception in their health care package. He introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 in January, which was aimed at repealing the mandate. Due to this pressure and pressure from other conservatives, Obama extended exemptions to these cases.
During an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Monday, Rubio said he wants to 'repeal and revise' Obamacare.
Public Policy Polling found that the 'straight-shooting' New Jersey governor would help the most as Romney's running mate, pulling Romney into a virtual tie with an Obama-Biden ticket.
However, Christie has taken a 'wait and see' attitude toward the legislation. ABC News reported that Christie said, 'We have to wait now and the state has put essentially on hold anything we are going to do to prepare for implementing Obamacare until the Supreme Court makes a decision at the end of June.'
The Louisiana governor, who is increasingly known for his state education reform, is both a young and diverse choice for the Romney ticket.
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, Jindal wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, dismantling arguments against repealing the legislation, arguing that it is possible.
'There are parts of the bill the public will like. No doubt about it,' Jindal wrote. 'There are parts I like--though I have yet to read the fine print--such as allowing parents to keep kids on their policies until they are 26 years old. And there's bound to be more good policy in there: 2,409 pages can't be all bad. But the overall direction of the bill is to empower government, not patients.'
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan wrote a budget plan that drastically transformed Medicare into a coupon-based system, throwing him into the political spotlight in 2011. Democrats harnessed this controversial budget that slashed a popular program to win a special election that same year, showing that Ryan's plan did not win with voters.
Ryan has used his leadership position in Congress to not only hammer Obama on the debt, but to argue for a connection between the debt and Obamacare. He told CNBC that the legislation would 'bankrupt' America.
Thune,, who beat out Senate Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, was a vocal dissenter of Obamacare since its inception. In a Politico op-ed marking the one-year anniversary of the bill becoming law, Thune wrote that Obamacare was a 'failed experiment.'
'After a year of learning what is in the law -- and seeing its effect on families, small businesses and our economy -- it is now clear that Obamacare is a failed experiment. Sadly, this failure was predictable and very expensive,' Thune wrote.
On his website, Thune even hosts a 'Repeal and Replace' petition.
The Virginia governor has been consistently outspoken against Obama's health care legislation. In an op-ed for Politico marking the two-year anniversary of the legislation, McDonnell said the law was 'just an expansion of the welfare state by the federal government, which can't afford it, largely on the backs of the states, which also can't afford it.'
The Kentucky senator endorsed Romney and told CNN it would 'be an honour' to run alongside him in recent weeks, throwing his hat into the VP ring.
The Tea Party favourite vehemently opposed Obamacare from the beginning, even saying that supporting health care reform meant 'you believe in slavery.'
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