The White House was forced to play defense Wednesday after Republicans accused the president of attacking the Supreme Court in hopes of intimidating the justices — and suggesting that the Supreme Court did not have the authority to invalidate the law. White House press secretary Jay Carney maintained that was an unfair characterization of the president's remarks.
"He's simply making an observation about precedent and the fact that he expects the Court to adhere to that precedent. It's obviously, as he made clear yesterday, up to the Court to make its determination. And we will wait and see what the Court does," Carney said.
But Mitt Romney told Newsmax Wednesday he thought Obama's characterization of the Court was "a purposeful distortion."
"Well, the whole idea of the Constitution and the courts that apply the Constitution is to have the capacity to ensure that Congress and the president do not pass legislation that violates the Constitution,” Romney said. “So the president suggesting that somehow the court would be violating its duty by applying the Constitution to test the validity of a piece of legislation is an extraordinary reach and a misunderstanding, and I think a distortion — a purposeful distortion — of the role of the judiciary.”