"It’s not uncommon for the President to talk about how proud he is of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the important benefits that the American people are already enjoying as a result of that passage. I wouldn’t anticipate, however, that he would comment specifically on the hearings necessarily today," White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.
Earnest said that while he wasn't sure whether the president had listened to audio of the hearings, he had received briefings from the White House's legal team on the arguments.
"The President has been following them in the news reports and has gotten specific briefings from our legal staff at the White House, and I feel confident in saying that the President shares the opinion of our White House staff that Mr. Verrilli did a terrific job in representing the interests of the government for the Supreme Court, but also representing the interests of the 2.5 million young adults who have health insurance coverage through their parent’s plan because of the Affordable Care Act," Earnest said.
Earnest reiterated that the White House expected the Supreme Court to find the legislation constitutional and that they were "pleased" with Verrilli's performance.
But the president was mum on the arguments at the fundraising event, instead asking supporters to help him achieve a second term so he could address big issues like energy policy and immigration reform.
"I think all of us are here today because we know our job isn't finished," the president said.
Obama said his Republican opponents were offering "a fundamentally different vision of American and who we are."
"It's a vision that says America is about looking out for yourself, not other people. It's an America that denies something like climate change, rejects it," Obama said.
"In some ways, this is going to be healthy for our democracy. It's going to be a clarifying election," Obama said.