Romney: Roberts' Decision Appears Political

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, who still pledges on his website to nominee judges "in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts," said in an interview airing Thursday the health care decision written by Roberts last week appeared to be tainted by politics.

"I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was going to come out with a decision I violently disagreed with - or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney said in an interview with CBS. The interview was taped ahead of a July 4th parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Wednesday.

Romney said Roberts, who was nominated to his post by Republican president George W. Bush, had "reached a conclusion I think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion."

Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law, saying it was within Congress' constitutional power to levy taxes. Within hours of the decision, Romney reiterated his promise to repeal the law if elected president.

In the majority opinion, Roberts wrote the Court, while upholding the mandate, was not weighing "whether the Act embodies sound policies," saying that judgment was entrusted to lawmakers elected by Americans.

Acknowledging that Roberts is "a very bright person," Romney pointed out conservatives associate justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as models for judicial nominations he would make as president.

The speculation that Roberts originally sided with conservatives in striking down the health care law's individual mandate indicates his ultimate decision upholding the provision may have been political, Romney said.

'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 said. "But we won't really know the answers to those things until the justice himself speaks out, maybe sometime in history."

Romney's wife Ann, who also sat for the interview Wednesday, said she would "love" the option of her husband choosing a woman to join his ticket as a vice presidential candidate. Romney marched with Sen. Kelly Ayotte in Wednesday's parade. The junior senator from New Hampshire is someone who Romney may be considering as a possible running mate.

"We've been looking at that," Ann Romney said of selecting a woman for the ticket. "And I'd love that option as well. So, you know, there's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."

Asked if she had a favorite in mind for a running mate, Ann Romney replied, "I like to think that I have a few that I really like a lot."

Her husband, responding to the same question, said simply: "What she said."

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