Mitt Romney says John Roberts 'not accurate' on health care

1:07 PM, Jul 5, 2012   |    comments
Chief Justice John Roberts.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Mitt Romney said in a TV interview that he would not appoint judges he disagreed with, but points to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on his website as an example of the type of person he'd nominate.

"Well, I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was gonna come out with a decision I violently disagreed with or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney told CBS News.

In the high court's landmark ruling to uphold President Obama's health care law as constitutional, Romney said that Roberts -- the swing vote in the landmark ruling -- came to a conclusion that was "not accurate" and "not appropriate."

"That being said, he's a very bright person. And I'd look for individuals that have intelligence and believe in following the Constitution," Romney said in the interview taped yesterday.

Romney is already making headlines for contradicting a top adviser in the same CBS interview. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he believes the court's ruling that the mandate most Americans obtain health insurance is a tax. On Monday, his campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney believed the mandate was a penalty or a fine or a fee -- but definitely not a tax.

In the section of his website about the courts and the Constitution, Romney says he would "nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito" because they believe in "a written Constitution, with real and determinate meaning."

Roberts, who was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush, has drawn the ire of some conservatives with his health care ruling.

As for reports that Roberts switched his vote to join the court's liberals in upholding the Obama law, Romney said the chief justice's decision appears politically motivated.

"It gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation but, instead, political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government," Romney told CBS News. "But we won't really know the answers to those things until the justice himself speaks out -- maybe sometime in history."

USA TODAY

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