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Mitt Romney's five biggest liabilities as GOP nominee

Typically, an election with an incumbent president on the ballot is a referendum on him. But President Obama is trying to turn the tables. So what exactly does Mitt Romney bring to the table, in both positive and negative ways? Here are the liabilities:

- Staff writer

Then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signs a state health-care reform bill in Boston on April 12, 2006. (Brian Snyder/REUTERS/File)

4. 'Romneycare'

Romney’s reform of the Massachusetts health-care system – particularly the individual mandate to buy insurance – was a big negative for some GOP primary voters. Now that he has likely locked in the nomination, it’s less of a problem.

But he can’t use “Obamacare” as the big stick to go after the president the way another GOP nominee could have. And if he’s going to get the Republican base to turn out for him, he needs not to remind them that he provided the model for Obama’s health-care reform.  

If the Supreme Court overturns some or all Obama’s Affordable Care Act, that may look like a victory for the Republicans. But in fact it raises the pressure on the Republicans – and Romney – to produce a plan to replace it.

The public will be particularly interested in knowing what Romney would do about the aspects of the law that are popular, including: the provision allowing adult children up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health plan; the ban on excluding people with preexisting conditions; the annual and lifetime caps on benefits.


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