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Mitt Romney: 'No Apology' for Individual Health Care Mandate

Photo Courtesy - Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On the kickoff to his No Apology book tour, Mitt Romney is sticking to his book's message -- refusing to apologize for the Massachusetts health care law that, like President Obama’s federal legislation, requires citizens to buy health insurance.

"I’m not apologizing for it, I’m indicating that we went in one direction and there are other possible directions.  I’d like to see states pursue their own ideas, see which ideas work best," Romney told ABC News.

That stand seems to reject the advice of Karl Rove and others who say that Romney can’t get the GOP nomination in 2012 unless he finds a way to distance himself from "Romneycare", but Romney did concede that his Massachusetts plan is imperfect.

When asked about "Obamacare," Romney said it’s a "very bad piece of legislation," siding with the federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional and wrote in his decision that "it is difficult to imagine that a nation which began…as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

"That was the whole idea of our federal democracy, we’d have people be able to try different ideas state to state but what we did not do was say that the federal government can make its choice and impose it on all of the states.  That is one of the reasons why this bill is unconstitutional," Romney said.

"The right thing for the president to do now with these decisions saying this bill is unconstitutional, with the house taking action to repeal it, with the senate considering doing so, he should press the pause button and say 'you know what, let’s hold back in this 'Obamacare,'" he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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