(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 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.