Romney on Obamacare promise: ‘It was not honest’
November 15th, 2013
10:06 AM ET
10 months ago

Romney on Obamacare promise: ‘It was not honest’

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney argued Friday that President Barack Obama knowingly misled Americans when he repeatedly assured them they could keep their health insurance plans under Obamacare, a promise that turned out to be inaccurate.

Romney also detailed how he thinks the GOP can perform better in future elections and talked about feeling embarrassed when he found out someone had leaked confidential information about his campaign for the new book, “Double Down.”

‘What starts twisted stays twisted’

Romney said beyond the technical difficulties of HealthCare.gov, the bigger problem for the President was his pledge to Americans that they could maintain their plans if they liked them.

“That promise was not accurate. It was not honest, and the whole foundation of his second term, I think, is in jeopardy as a result of that,” he said in an interview with CBS’ “This Morning,” in which he was joined by his wife, Ann.

Asked if Obama lied to Americans on purpose, Romney said the President “understood that a lot of people would lose their insurance.”

“They knew that and yet said, ‘Well, you can keep your insurance, period’,” Romney continued. “It's dishonest. What starts twisted stays twisted, and it's not going to be able to be fixed until we fundamentally reshape Obamacare.”

Obama repeatedly apologized Thursday when he announced his administration would allow insurers to extend policies for a year to the millions of people who’ve been getting cancellation notices. He also attempted to explain why he and other Democrats originally told people they’d be able to keep their plans.

“My expectation was that for 98 percent of the American people either it genuinely wouldn't change at all or they would be pleasantly surprised with the options in the marketplace and that the grandfather clause would cover the rest,” Obama said. “That proved not to be the case. That's on me.”

Romney, who oversaw similar health care reform when he was governor in Massachusetts , said his state fared better in its rollout of the law because “the implementation was slow on purpose.”

“There was time to iron out the software problems that would make it be more smooth as larger and larger groups of people applied,” he said.

The GOP’s future and immigration

Romney said he’s not going to run for president again but said he sees his role in the party as an advocate for better nominating processes.

“I’m concerned about a trend to move toward caucuses and conventions for nominating candidates as opposed to primaries. I want more people to be involved in the process because I want conservatives to win – not just to fight, but to win,” he said.

The former GOP nominee also weighed in on immigration, following House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement this week that he has “no intention” of ever taking up the Senate-passed immigration reform bill or reconciling with the Senate to come up with a compromise

Romney, who’s famously known for pushing 'self-deportation' during the 2012 GOP primaries, said he’s “absolutely convinced that the Republican Party must deal with immigration.”

As for 2016, Romney, as well as Ann, named Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as strong potential presidential candidates if they decide to run.

“I do believe that those who come here illegally ought to have an opportunity to get in line with everybody else,” he continued. “I don't think those who come here illegally should jump to the front of the line or be given a special deal…but I think they should have a chance just like anybody else to get in line and to become a citizen if they'd like to do so.”

Embarrassed by a leak

Last week CNN reported that Romney called Christie immediately after excerpts from a book about the 2012 campaign had details about Romney's vice presidential selection process and Christie's vetting as a possible running mate.

"It's very disappointing," Christie said in an exclusive interview with CNN anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper. "I think it's a complete violation of trust of me and the spirit within which I entered that process."

According to the campaign book “Double Down,” there were concerns about Christie’s health and weight during the vetting process and how Christie, when he was serving as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey, had been investigated by the Justice Department for exceeding government travel expense rates.

Romney said Friday he “was very upset” about the leak and that it “embarrassed my campaign and embarrassed me.”

“And I told (Christie), I’m very sorry, this is not something he expected. When you provide confidential information to a presidential candidate or nominee, you expect him to keep it private,” he said.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Obamacare
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, dear. President Romney Gives A Speech.

    November 15, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Data Driven

    “I’m concerned about a trend to move toward caucuses and conventions for nominating candidates as opposed to primaries. I want more people to be involved in the process because I want conservatives to win – not just to fight, but to win"

    He's actually right about this. Caucuses are fundamentally undemocratic, and last I checked, we're a democratic republic, not an Athenian boys'-club debating society.

    November 15, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Wake up People!

    And President Romney speaks. And he knows a lot about deliberate lies.
    GFY Mitt.

    The POTUS didn't lie. This was the insurance companies working in conjunction with the GOPT and the MSM. Simply to see him fail.

    November 15, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Evergreen

    How honest are your tax records Mr Romney? Which reminds me, whatever happened to the republican plan to reform the tax code that they talked about during the 2012 campaign.

    November 15, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. guest

    So, the president is responsible for all the privately run insurance providers changing their plans enough that they dont meet the requirements of 'being the same plan'? The reason the insurance poilicies are being 'canceled' is due to changes to the 'pre exiting plans' that the president promised you can keep. Or in other words, the companies stopped offering your 'original plan' by making enough changes that it is indeed not your 'original plan', at least that is how I understand it.

    November 15, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. ST

    Oh! please this man Romney must stop playing with the way how we think. If he knows how GOP has to win elections, why didn't he do it for himself? Enough already hearing from losers, there is no pay off, just wastage of time.

    November 15, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. wendel

    Romney is not relevant, show us your tax returns mittens

    November 15, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. smith

    If Obama didn`t lie then he was ignorant and stupid to his own health care law. Either way it was a big fumble( his word).

    November 15, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. rs

    This from the man whose campaign was rife with "not meant to be factual" statements, remember? Perhaps Mr. Romney knew this from his experience from Romneycare, but in the end, the ACA didn't cancel anyone's insurance, but the insurance companies themselves did. Last I checked, the government doesn't run private insurance companies.

    November 15, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. luke,az

    This guy has Romnesia stage 5, he actually believes his own lies.

    November 15, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    "You can keep your insurance, period."

    The entrie right wing is being dishonest with The People. Everyone who's ever owned health insurance for a number of years knows that insurers change their policies all the time to increase their profits. Don't blame Pres. Obama because insurers have done what they've always done, which is charge higher premiums whenever a good excuse comes along.

    But, you need not worry. I think the 80/20 rule is going to give a lot of folks refunds on their insurance in 2015. Insurers are used to putting well over 20% of the premiums directly into their pockets, sometimes as much as 50% on junk policies. That obscene practice has thankfully come to an end. I find morally corrupt that someone makes millions by denying people health care because it cuts into their 40% profit margins.

    November 15, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Anthony

    Romney is the wrong person to lecture people about honesty. Romney touted Romneycare as a model for the nation in 2009, in an op-ed in USA Today. After Obama took Romney's advice and enacted Obamacare, which is modeled on Romneycare, Romney changed his tune and claimed that Romneycare is a state solution designed only for Massachusetts.

    November 15, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. CB FL

    Next we will be hearing from Lying Ryan about speaking honestly.

    November 15, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Gunderson

    Aw, Humm,
    Obama Lie? No, Obama no lie, he have no brain. You need brain to tell Tall Tales. Now that Democrat Senators abandoning ship you blame the Insurance Companies. Who else you blame? I know, employers for letting people go. or part time. Now you want Single Payer Plan. But you no pay for it. Somebody else pay that bill. Who? Taxpayers? Nobody got good paying job. That why nobody afford Insurance. Barely afford groceries, rent, utilities. etc. Big plan. Liberal's give health coverage coverage poor people. Who pay? I know Rich People. Wait Rich people short on money. Humm? Back to Salt Mines.

    November 15, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    But your 47% comments were honest.

    November 15, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    President Romney, who won by a landslide, needs to take his spoon out of this soup.
    When the REAL President, Barack Hussein Obama, reached out to him for input and advice he had none.
    Soooo, sit down and stfu, the President will handle this.

    November 15, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Name

    Was not intended to be honest.

    November 15, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. You want it when?

    my heart just bleeds for the poor insurance companies who being forced to do more for us than collect premiums....oh, and let's not forget the poor doctors who haven't had a raise in 10 years ....

    November 15, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. You want it when?

    it's going to be interesting watching the insurance companies juggle this ball after it's been slammed back into their court..Obamacare – 1, insurance companies – scrambling..

    November 15, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Warren

    Let us not forget...Republicans refused to fund the extra work on the website after the states refused to do their parts, leaving the administration to cobble funding together for Healthcare.Gov. Putting this extra burden on the website was a deliberate effort to cause the law to “implode” on itself.

    November 15, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Hal

    The entrie right wing is being dishonest with The People. Everyone who's ever owned health insurance for a number of years knows that insurers change their policies all the time to increase their profits. Don't blame Pres. Obama because insurers have done what they've always done, which is charge higher premiums whenever a good excuse comes along.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Insurance companies routinely cancel 5 million policies every two months? Do they make more money by not having customers?

    November 15, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Bill from GA

    Romney said he sees his role in the party as an advocate for better nominating processes.

    Any solution should involve a more fair process to alter the timing of primaries, caucuses or whatever. The choice of candidates is significantly narrowed after the first few rounds. Why do Iowa, New Hampshire and a few other states get to decide who the rest of us can vote for?

    I'm sure that is what mitts is trying to fix. Yeah, I'm real sure. More likely, he's trying to make it easier for the fatcat rich he hangs with to buy the elections.

    November 15, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Wake up People!

    Isn't this the same guy that had the mitigated gall to say their campaign wouldn't be dictated by facts, or something like that??

    November 15, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Marie MD

    Just like the old man from AZ. This fool still doesn't understand that he LOST the election.
    Go away. Make plans for another 11,000 square foot house in Mars preferably.

    November 15, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. RomneyWho

    Romney who, oh, the Etch A Sketch guy who try to lie his way to the middle! :(

    November 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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