SALEM, Va. -- With an eye on the Supreme Court ruling this week, Mitt Romney said yesterday that President Barack Obama's time in office would have been wasted if the high court strikes down the president's signature health care overhaul.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee previewed his health care strategy while speaking to supporters outside a Virginia machine manufacturer just two days before the Supreme Court was expected to rule on the constitutionality of Obama's signature domestic achievement.
"If Obamacare is not deemed constitutional, then the first 3 1/2 years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people," Romney told more than 1,000 supporters gathered outside Carter Machinery in southwest Virginia.
"If it is deemed to stand, then I'll tell you one thing, 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."
At a fundraiser in Atlanta yesterday, Obama countered that his health care law was critical to expanding coverage for millions of Americans and preventing companies from discriminating against people who are sick.
"We don't need to refight this battle over health care. It's the right thing to do," Obama said.
Romney's plan would not prevent health care companies from denying coverage to new customers with medical conditions. Nor would he force them to cover young adults on their parents' plans through age 26.
Romney has public events scheduled today in Virginia, a state that has been an aggressive opponent to the health care law under Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, is expected to deliver public remarks in Washington after the Supreme Court ruling Thursday. His promise to repeal the health care law has become a pillar in an agenda that so far offers voters few other specifics. He released a new television ad campaign late last week stressing that the elimination of the health care law will be the top priority in his administration's first 100 days.