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.
By Brad Knickerbocker
Mitt Romney hasn’t had a lot to say since his defeat in the
presidential election last year. It must be busy work organizing those
expensive residences — the Salt Lake Tribune says a new home being
built in Utah will make it five — he and his wife Ann have in their
But he unloaded on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday — particularly on
health care insurance programs, which he essentially said President
Obama is lying about.
“Perhaps the most important lesson the president, I think, failed to
learn was, you have to tell the American people the truth,” Mr. Romney
said. “And 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.”
“Fundamental dishonesty” — not just being wrong but lying and then
repeating the lie — is a hard charge, even for professional
politicians. (One is reminded of the evil Francis Urquhart’s
best-known quote in the BBC series “House of Cards:” “You might very
well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.”)
Obama has had to backtrack (or “clarify,” 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 “glitches” in the HealthCare.gov sign-up site, that’s
provided the juiciest target for Republicans wanting to “repeal and
replace” — “replace” with what, nobody is saying — Obamacare.
“Obamacare barely made it through Washington, as you know,” Romney
said. “And 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.”
It’s a sore point for the former Massachusetts governor, whose own
state plan was cited as a model for the Affordable Care Act —
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.
“Eighty-four percent of residents expressed satisfaction with the care
they received over the last year, including 56 percent who indicated
they are ‘very satisfied’ and 28 percent who are ‘somewhat
satisfied,’” the survey report states. Seventy-three percent of
residents reported that gaining access to health care they need is
“not difficult,” 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 “a well thought-out piece of
But that didn’t keep Romney’s GOP primary election rivals from
hammering him on what they called “Romneycare.” 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 “Meet the Press” 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, “I’m not going to
disqualify anybody but I think I’ve indicated some of the names I
think are most effective in becoming elected…”
A new book talks about why the Romney campaign rejected Gov. Christie
as a possible running mate last year. “Double Down: Game Change 2012”
by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann says Romney’s campaign staff
warned that Christie’s background was “littered with potential land
On Sunday, Romney went out of his way to praise Christie, who faces
what’s 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. “He’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