Romney on Obamacare promise: ‘It was not honest’
November 15th, 2013
10:06 AM ET
9 years 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.”

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‘What starts twisted stays twisted’

Romney said beyond the technical difficulties of, 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. Abbey

    Mitts and honesty go hand in hand. As for Obama, truth and agenda constantly clash.

    November 15, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Hal wrote on page 1:

    Insurance companies routinely cancel 5 million policies every two months? Do they make more money by not having customers?
    No one has been cancelling insurance policies "every two months". I know it's hard, but don't be ridiculous. Insurance companies have been forcing people to re-enroll their employer based health insurance for decades. It's how they go about raising rates every year. They cancel your old policy at the old rate and sell you a new one at a higher rate.. So, yes, they make money by cancelling out millions of policies every year, just as they've done for decades.

    Rates went up by double digits every year during the previous administration. The ACA has cut that figure in half.

    November 15, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Me

    There was an expectation by some experts that enrollment would start slow and pick up speed, and that expectation was confirmed by reality,
    Soooo then there was a "planned" slow start, call it what you want but it was "planned" (or insert any descriptive word you like) for a slow start!!! You just proved his statement! Also, unless you talked/worked directly with the planners/law writers, that is call hearsay not fact (directed to Data)!

    November 15, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Data Driven


    "Mitts and honesty go hand in hand"


    November 15, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Data Driven


    Fair is Fair
    Obama lied. BIG TIME. He's lied before. This time it was so blatant that even MSNBC isn't covering for him. He's a LIAR.

    Such anger, such vitriol! Where was your rightous indignation when President Cheney sent tousands of our children to their deaths in Iraq?"

    Good question. It's why I can't take conservatives' howling, multiple punctuations, and occasional all-caps-for-emphasis all that seriously.

    Dead silence from these folks on their team's crimes 6 years ago.

    "Total silence...." - Steve Buscemi in "Fargo"

    November 15, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Denise

    Love it when dittoheads talk about federal versus state rights. No mention of this back when Bush Jr. was selected by none other than the 'United Staes' Superme Court.

    November 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Vince

    Ya lost Mitt. Your opinion is not needed.

    November 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Denise

    Poor Mitt, all of the money in the world has given him a luxurious lifestyle, car elevators, mansions in the hills, but couldn't give him what he wanted the most, to be president.....Noone takes this fool seriously!

    November 15, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Lolo

    The GOP/TP Klan has paid people to lie about their policies being cancelled and then when they are caught they think up a new crisis. I did not lose mine. The ones who did probably do not have any responsibility in life and we know that most of the red states are in that category. The GOP is nothing but the party of ignorance. I cannot believe that their sheep believe all of the BS they are putting out there. Hatred is truly a sin that will beat you down and they are getting beat down constantly. Can you believe that nut of a woman M. Bachman saying she lost her insurance, when we the taxpayers are paying for hers? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But the sheep believes her every word. As I said the crazies have taken over the asylum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 15, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Denise

    Wonder if dittoheads even know what the word, ditto' means. Repeating it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, for years and years and years and years and years, and predicting but losing and predicting but losing and predicting and losing doesn't make it so.......Please proceed!

    November 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Denise

    Speaking of state rights, too bad the 'red' lowest income per capita states have opted out of the federal exchanges and Medicaid expansion. After all, they are the ones who could use it the most.

    November 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. sammy750

    Republicans, the Party of the BIG LIES, and they call Obama not honest. G. Bush was the biggest LIER ever as President. He lied to the American people for 8 years. Look what this man did to this nation during his 8 years with the support of the same Republicans who continue to destroy this nation. The Republican party only mission is to destroy American. And we continue to John McCain and L. Graham who think they are the experts and undermine the current administration in everything they do. McCain who introduced S. Palin the most incompetent woman on earth.

    November 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. anonymous

    Obama has been lying and conning the Americanpeople for 5 years. His MSM sycophants have been covering for him the entire time. But this lie was just so huge and damaging to millions of Americans, even they could not cover for him any longer lest they lose what little credibility they still retained.

    And now he concocts another scam to lay his lie at the feet of others to "fix". This clown is as dishonest as the day is long. Anybody that believes a word this guy says is either on drugs or is one of his family.

    November 15, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Who the Hell is this Mitt Romney guy? Is he somehow important or something?

    November 15, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Soooo then there was a "planned" slow start, call it what you want but it was "planned" (or insert any descriptive word you like) for a slow start!!! You just proved his statement! Also, unless you talked/worked directly with the planners/law writers, that is call hearsay not fact (directed to Data)!

    No, there was no "planned" slow start. There was an acknowledgment that starting would be slow. Saying that it was "planned" implies that there was control over whether it would be fast or slow. There was no control over that and they knew it. There was no option for "planning" it to be fast. They knew very well that once the market opened that people would not just rush to buy their health insurance and enroll right from the get go. They understood that some would be nervous, most would want to shop around for some time, that consumers would want to think about their options and the choices they needed to make, that people are lazy and do things at the last minute, that some people would wait to hear from others before they took the plunge themselves, etc. That's not a "plan" or something under the control of those who designed the legislation and implemented the systems it created. That's merely acknowledging the practical reality of how consumers would behave and react to the marketplace they were being placed into and accepting that reality. Quite honestly, the "people are lazy and leave things to the last minute" part appears to have been the largest factor if you look at the enrollment numbers or a graph of them, because they spiked greatly right before the deadline.

    November 15, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    " unless you talked/worked directly with the planners/law writers, that is call hearsay not fact (directed to Data)!"

    Dude, just do the freekin google search yourself to see what they've said on the subject.

    November 15, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Ask any conservative where the death panels are and you'll get some mumbo jumbo explanation."

    The death panels are located in the same place as Obama's Kenyan birth certificate: delusional GOP/Teatroll fever-dreams.

    November 15, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Graffing

    You don't say...a republican disagrees with a democrat and calls them dishonest? Let's write an article about it! I've never heard of such a thing before.

    November 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @Abbey "So of you really should understand the differences between states and Federal rights."

    Any conservative that cheered Bush stealing the election by running to the Supreme Court to overturn Florida's State process should have the term "states rights" stick in their throats. And most conservatives would love federal level laws for moral issues, like national religious practices and anti-choice.

    November 15, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Bill

    Keep talking Mittens, it will remind people what a disaster the GOP is.

    November 15, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. catmomtx

    And Romney not being truthful and not being able to show the American people he was sincere is the reason he lost the election. Romney couldn't sincerely tell the American people what and how he would take care of our country. Heck, he refused to even discuss the only successful thing of his political career which was healthcare and he wants to comment on the President? Really??

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. jonjojr

    call it what it is Romney, HE LIED!!!

    November 15, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Mr Dalloway

    Only a corporation would think in this manner

    November 15, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair is Fair
    What color is the sky in your little universe? You can't out of one side of your pie hole
    That's the classless, hateful Fair is Fair that lies beneath those gobs of lipstick.
    Hard to deny your real nature no matter what you call yourself.
    Oink! Oink!

    November 15, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Denise

    Dittoheads always claim to have 'inside' knowledge of top security processes and behind the scenes scoop of major legislation being passed.

    November 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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