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July 28. 2012 7:54PM

Bondi: 'Obamacare' repeal likely under Romney


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Romney supporter. 

MANCHESTER — The Supreme Court's ruling that a penalty for not buying mandated health insurance may be considered a tax will make it easier to repeal the Obama administration's health care law next year if presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is elected President, according to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“I think we have a very good, good shot” at Republicans garnering 51 required votes in the Senate to kill the law, Bondi said in an interview Saturday at the Puritan Backroom.

Bondi, part of a legal team that led the Supreme Court fight against President Barack Obama's health care law, also known as “Obamacare,'' said the court ruling means only 51 Senate votes, not 60, would be required to repeal it. Romney has said he would support the repeal, and Republicans currently enjoy a 50-seat advantage in the U.S. House.

“I think it may change some of the other senators' votes, as well, now that they know it's a tax,” Bondi said. “This should be a bipartisan issue.”

She said she considers Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who sided with the 5-4 majority to uphold the law, a man of integrity. “I think he was perhaps concerned about protecting the integrity of the court and may have been — and this is pure speculation, of course — and may have been concerned that the court would have been demonized had they gone the other way by the White House, which is exactly what they were doing to the court by all the statements prior to the decision.”

Answering Bondi's criticism, state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said: “It's time for individuals like her to move on and understand it's the law of the land, that the American people are already benefiting from it and she needs to refocus her energy from disenfranchising the voters of Florida and perhaps do something positive for a change.”

Bondi's first trip to New Hampshire included giving a breakfast speech in Concord and visiting Romney campaign offices in Bedford and Stratham.

Seizing on the timing of the Summer Olympics in London, Bondi cited Romney's success at turning around the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. “What he did with the Olympics showed what a true leader he is for our country,” she said.

Bondi said she has campaigned with Romney in Florida and grew to know him and his wife, Ann.

“They are two of the finest people I know,” Bondi said.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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