FUN AT ROMNEY’S EXPENSE…. We’ll get to the White House’s announcement today on health care policy shortly, but before we do, let’s take a moment to appreciate how much fun the president and his team are having at Mitt Romney’s expense.

In a moment that Mitt Romney’s future GOP opponents couldn’t have scripted better themselves, President Obama Monday issued a full-throated embrace of the former Massachusetts governor’s stance on health care.

“I know that many of you have asked for flexibility for your states under this law,” Obama said during a speech to a governors meeting at the White House. “In fact, I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he’s proud of what he accomplished on health care by giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions. He’s right.”

It’s safe to assume the video of this quote will be turned into campaign ads in GOP presidential primaries. It’s also safe to assume that was the point.

Indeed, just a month ago, David Axelrod also praised Romney for his work on health care policy during his gubernatorial tenure. “We got some good ideas from him,” Axelrod said of the former governor.

And yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), Romney’s successor and a close ally of the president, also heaped praise on Romney’s health care work, saying his predecessor “deserves a lot of credit” for the state law. “One of the best things he did was to be the coauthor of our health care reform, which has been a model for national health care reform,” Patrick said.

Asked afterward whether politics had motivated the praise, Patrick scoffed. “It’s just the truth,” he said.

Needless to say, this is not the kind of praise Romney’s looking for, but it’s nevertheless an issue that will follow the GOP presidential hopeful for the foreseeable future.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.