Romney warns Republicans against government shutdown over ObamaCare

Mitt Romney on Tuesday warned congressional Republicans against shutting down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare. 

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“I badly want ObamaCare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal,” Romney said at a fundraiser in New Hampshire for the state’s Republican Party, according to prepared remarks. “But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government. What would come next when soldiers aren't paid, when seniors fear for their Medicare and Social Security, and when the FBI is off duty?”

Speaking at the event in Wolfeboro, just miles from his summer vacation home, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate said “there are better ways to remove” President Obama’s signature healthcare law.

“I'm afraid that in the final analysis, ObamaCare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy,” he said. “I think there are better ways to remove ObamaCare.”

A plan spearheaded by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeSenators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears Shutdown risk grows over Flint MORE (R-Utah) would shut down the government to block funds for ObamaCare. Lee says he’s recruited more than a dozen Republican colleagues willing to block a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funding for the healthcare law.

But in recent weeks, the plan has been under fierce attack by some in the Republican Party who worry that the GOP would take the blame for a government shutdown, and that it might cost the party in upcoming elections.

Sens. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq McCain comments won't derail Bergdahl case Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE (R-Ariz.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntSenate rivals gear up for debates Super PAC hits Dem Senate candidate with ad in tightening Missouri race The Trail 2016: Presidential politics and policing MORE (R-Mo.) have both spoken out against the plan, and Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrDem groups invest big in Bayh in Ind. Senate race The Trail 2016: Fight night Poll finds races for president, Senate tight in North Carolina MORE (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I've ever heard.”

Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnRyan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight The Trail 2016: Words matter Ex-Sen. Coburn: I won’t challenge Trump, I’ll vote for him MORE (R-Okla.) offered perhaps the strongest indictment of Lee’s plan, saying it would cost the GOP control of the House and could destroy the party.

Still, the second- and third-ranking members of Republican leadership, Sens. John CornynJohn CornynCongress steamrolls Obama's veto 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE (Texas) and John ThuneJohn ThuneYahoo failed to prioritize security: report Overnight Tech: Lawmakers, tech talk diversity | Group raises security worries over internet handoff | FCC commish wants probe into debate Wi-Fi Reid blocks Thune tech bill over FCC nomination fight MORE (S.D.), have said they support the idea, as do influential conservatives and potential presidential candidates Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioLanny Davis: Clinton a clear winner, with or without sound Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? Koch-linked veterans group launches ads in Senate battlegrounds MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE (Texas).