Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney tonight waded into the debate among Republicans on Capitol Hill over whether to allow a government shutdown to occur if the Affordable Care Act is not defunded as part of the continuing resolution, saying "there are better ways to remove Obamacare."
The idea is being promoted by several of the Republican Party's rising stars - Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Though he doesn't mention any of them by name, Romney said he considers the proposal to be ill advised.
"Emotion is understandably at play in Washington among some of our fellow Republicans. I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government," Romney said at a private fundraiser in Wolfeboro, N.H., according to prepared remarks.
"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? 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. And we should work to replace it with healthcare reforms that actually lower costs and give patients - not government - control over their own healthcare."
Romney also offered a prediction for the 2016 election, telling the New Hampshire crowd that there likely "will only be one or perhaps two" Republican candidates who could beat the Democratic nominee in the general election.
"As the first-in-the-nation, you will have a big role in choosing our next nominee for president," Romney said. "My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up. But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November. Think it through. Stay smart."