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 LeeCruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power Overnight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda The Memo: Trump tries to bend Congress to his will 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 McCainMcCain rivals praise senator after brain cancer diagnosis McCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty Overnight Defense: Trump gets briefing at Pentagon on ISIS, Afghanistan | Senate panel approves five defense picks | Senators want Syria study in defense bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Trump plays hardball on ObamaCare | Senators revive negotiations | CBO says repeal without replace would cost 32M insurance White House working with moderates on new Medicaid proposal Senate GOP revives negotiation over ObamaCare repeal and replace MORE (R-Mo.) have both spoken out against the plan, and Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: State Department reportedly eliminating cyber office | Senate Intel chief avoids White House during Russia probe | Dem pushes 'ethical hacking' resolution Trump to GOP senators: Cancel your recess The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I've ever heard.”

Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCongress, stop using our nation's military policy for political purposes Congress must rid itself of political 'pork' to preserve its integrity 'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress 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 CornynMcCain rivals praise senator after brain cancer diagnosis Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan McCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty MORE (Texas) and John ThuneJohn ThuneSenate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan McCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty Cornyn: Knowing health plan ahead of vote is 'luxury we don't have' MORE (S.D.), have said they support the idea, as do influential conservatives and potential presidential candidates Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioBush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller The private alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program  Cruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzTed CruzSenators, you passed ObamaCare repeal-only bill in 2015 — do it again McCain rivals praise senator after brain cancer diagnosis Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan MORE (Texas).