Any why not? Romneycare is, and always has been, the blueprint for Obamacare.

(Fox News) — It’s not every day that you see Jay Carney quoting Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney from the White House podium.

But that’s what Carney did Thursday as reporters pressed for the president’s reaction to the Affordable Care Act heading to the Supreme Court before the 2012 election amid questions about its constitutionality.

Carney’s quoting served the dual purpose of defending the president and trying to drive a wedge between Romney and some of his Republican rivals, who have charged that the former Massachusetts governor’s health reform law on the state level bears too much of a resemblance to the plan that conservatives derisively call “Obamacare.”

“A former governor of Massachusetts just said the other day, ‘The idea for a health care plan in Massachusetts was not mine alone,'” Carney said, reading from notes as he continued quoting Romney. “‘The Heritage Foundation, a great conservative think tank, helped on that. I’m told that Newt Gingrich, one of the very first people who came up with the idea of an individual mandate, did that years and years ago. It was seen as a conservative idea to say, you know what, people have a responsibility for caring for themselves if they can. We’ll help people who can’t care for themselves, but if you can care for yourself, you’ve got to take care of yourself and pay your own bills.'”

Without ever mentioning Romney by name, Carney concluded, “That’s the former governor of Massachusetts describing the individual mandate and why it’s smart policy, and we certainly agree.”