Mitt Romney: Obama 'fundamentally dishonest' about health insurance (+video)(Read article summary)
Mitt Romney has pretty much kept quiet after losing in 2012. But on 'Meet the Press,' he unloaded on 'Obamacare,' which he continues to insist is nothing like 'Romneycare' in Massachusetts.
Mitt Romney hasnât had a lot to say since his defeat in the presidential election last year. It must be busy work organizing those expensive residences â the Salt Lake Tribune says a new home being built in Utah will make it five â he and his wife Ann have in their post-political life.
âPerhaps the most important lesson the president, I think, failed to learn was, you have to tell the American people the truth,â Mr. Romney said. âAnd when he told the American people that you could keep your health insurance if you wanted to keep that plan, period, he said that time and again, he wasn't telling the truth. And I think that fundamental dishonesty has really put in peril the whole foundation of his second term.â
âFundamental dishonestyâ â not just being wrong but lying and then repeating the lie â is a hard charge, even for professional politicians. (One is reminded of the evil Francis Urquhartâs best-known quote in the BBC series âHouse of Cards:â âYou might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.â)
Obama has had to backtrack (or âclarify,â in Washington parlance) on his claim that all Americans could keep their current health care plan if they so choose under the Affordable Care Act. Next to the devastating âglitchesâ in the HealthCare.gov sign-up site, thatâs provided the juiciest target for Republicans wanting to ârepeal and replaceâ â âreplaceâ with what, nobody is saying â Obamacare.
âObamacare barely made it through Washington, as you know,â Romney said. âAnd there is no question in my mind but had the president been truthful and told the American people that millions would lose their insurance and millions more would see their premiums skyrocket, had he told them that at the time it was going through Washington, there would have been such a huge cry against it, it would not have passed.â
Itâs a sore point for the former Massachusetts governor, whose own state plan was cited as a model for the Affordable Care Act â including the individual mandate both plans include.
A recent poll by the Massachusetts Medical Society, a statewide physician group, finds that most people in Massachusetts today are generally satisfied with the health-care system there.
âEighty-four percent of residents expressed satisfaction with the care they received over the last year, including 56 percent who indicated they are âvery satisfiedâ and 28 percent who are âsomewhat satisfied,ââ the surveyÂ report states. Seventy-three percent of residents reported that gaining access to health care they need is ânot difficult,â and for serious medical problems, 86 percent said the amount of time they needed to wait was not a problem.
The fiscally conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has called the state health insurance program âa well thought-out piece of legislation.â
But that didnât keep Romneyâs GOP primary election rivals from hammering him on what they called âRomneycare.â And of course, Obama had a lot of fun tweaking Romney on the subject, even though there are clear differences between the two plans.
Naturally, the most recent Republican presidential flag-bearer was asked on âMeet the Pressâ who he liked as the candidate for 2016.
He listed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, his 2012 running mate US Rep. Paul Ryan, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio. Pointedly, he did not mention tea party favorites Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Asked about the Cruz omission, Romney said, âIâm not going to disqualify anybody but I think Iâve indicated some of the names I think are most effective in becoming electedâŚ.â
A new book talks about why the Romney campaign rejected Gov. Christie as a possible running mate last year. âDouble Down: Game Change 2012â by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann says Romneyâs campaign staff warned that Christieâs background was "littered with potential land mines.â
On Sunday, Romney went out of his way to praise Christie, who faces whatâs likely to be easy re-election on Tuesday.
"Chris could easily become our nominee and save our party and help get this nation on the right track again. They don't come better than Chris Christie," Romney said. âHe's a very popular governor in a very blue state. That's the kind of popularity and the kind of track record the Republican Party needs if we're going to take back the White House.â