President Obama praises Mitt Romney’s health care plan

Holly Bailey

In a moment that will no doubt resurface again during the 2012 GOP primary, President Obama praised the health care plan Mitt Romney passed while serving as governor of Massachusetts.

"I know that many of you have asked for flexibility for your states under this law. In fact, I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he's proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions," Obama said in an address to the National Governors Association today.  "He's right. Alabama is not going to have exactly the same needs as Massachusetts or California or North Dakota. We believe in that flexibility."

It's the second time in the past several weeks that the White House has gone out of its way to praise Romney, who is expected to launch a bid for the GOP nomination. In January, Obama adviser David Axelrod said the administration had gotten "some good ideas" from Romney, who has come under fire for the plan, which, like Obama's bill, mandates that individuals must have health insurance.

Last week, Mike Huckabee, who is contemplating his own 2012 run, said Romney should apologize for the plan.  In response, a Romney spokesperson said the ex-governor is "proud" of the plan--a surprising statement after weeks of Romney's silence on the subject.

(Photo of Obama: Charles Dharapak/AP)