Romney: Obama ‘Wasted’ His Presidency on Obamacare

By Melanie Arter | June 26, 2012 | 4:01 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( – GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Tuesday that if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, President Barack Obama will have “wasted” the first three and a half years of his term on “something that does not help the American people.”

Speaking at a campaign rally in Salem, Va., Romney said the high court’s rulings this week “highlights the leadership failures of our current president.”

“You see, when he was running for office, he said he would make it his first priority in his first year agenda to reform our immigration system and make it work for the American people and for those that want to come here legally. He did not do that. Why is it? He had a Democrat House, Democrat Senate, all that support he needed. He did nothing. Why did he fail to do that?” Romney asked.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld one of four provisions in the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, saying that law enforcement may check the immigration status of those they stop during the course of enforcing the law as long as they have “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is an illegal immigrant.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

“And so the Supreme Court had to step in because states had to step in – states looking to find a way to solve the problems he didn’t address, tried to address it in their own ways. And now the Supreme Court’s looked at it, and what we’re left with is a bit of a muddle, but what we know is the president failed to lead. He failed to do what he said he’d do,” he added.

Instead of focusing on the economy, Obama chose health care reform through Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, Romney said.

“Now as you know, the Supreme Court is going to be dealing with whether or not Obamacare is constitutional. If it’s not, if Obamcare is not deemed constitutional, then the first three and a half years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that does not help the American people,” he said.

“If it is deemed to stand, then I’ll tell you one thing, we’re gonna have to have a president, and I’m that one that’s gonna get rid of Obamacare, and we’re gonna stop it on day one,” the former Massachusetts governor said.