Mitt Romney on Obamacare: President's real problem is his "broken promise"


Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the "broken promise" to the American people about keeping their health insurance plans is President Barack Obama's "real problem" with Obamacare -- an issue that has put "the whole foundation of his second jeopardy."

The former Republican governor of Massachusetts, appearing with his wife, Ann Romney, said on "CBS This Morning," "The real problem with the president's plan is not just the rollout. That's implementation and glitches of various kinds. It should have been done better but it wasn't, but the real problem is...dishonesty. That's what's really striking."

"Ultimately, people know the systems are going to work, they're frustrated they're not working, but when the systems are working, people will still lose -- and already have -- millions of people losing their insurance they were promised they would not. They're being asked to buy policies they don't want at prices they can't afford."

Asked if he thinks the president lied on purpose for political gain, Mitt Romney said, "I think the president understood. It's now quite well documented that his administration, he understood, that a lot of people would lose their insurance. That was the nature of the entire product that they put forward. They knew that, and yet said, 'Well, you can keep your insurance, period,''s dishonest. There's no -- what starts twisted, stays twisted and it's not going to be able to be fixed until we fundamentally reshape Obamacare, either repeal it or reshape it or reform it. "

Speaking of his tenure as governor of Massachusetts -- and the health insurance program Obamacare was modeled after -- Romneycare, Romney said implementation of the plan was "slow on purpose."

"We rolled out the effective dates of the program such that there was time to iron out the software problems that would make it be more smooth as larger and larger groups of people applied," Romney said.

Turning to the Republican Party, "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell pointed to losses in the popular vote in five of the six presidential elections -- and asked how the party needs to change.

Mitt Romney said the party needs to communicate to a broader number of people than in the past. Addressing his own presidential campaign, he said speaking "openly and effectively" to minority populations was where he and his campaign "fell short."

"We didn't get as many African-American voters as we should have. We didn't get as many Hispanic voters as we should have," he said. "By the way, across the board, we need to do a better job explaining why it is that our policies will lead to higher wages, better health care and better schools."

Asked if they are ever frustrated that they're not in the White House, Ann Romney said she's "very frustrated."

"I know Mitt would have been a fantastic president," she said. "He's an amazing leader. He has great executive experience. And it's frustrating for me to sit by and watch."

Who do the Romneys like as Republican presidential prospects in 2016?

Ann Romney said, "I think we'll sort through those things. There's a wonderful -- Chris and Mary Pat are great friends of ours. I admire them greatly. I think he's a great leader. Paul Ryan, we adore. I don't know even know if he'll run or even who is going to be running."

"And Jeb Bush," Mitt Romney added. "Will he get in or not?"

Asked if he would run, Mitt Romney said, "You know, it was a fabulous experience. I loved it. But we're not doing that again."

Ann Romney pantomimed a "no" with his head.

"CTM" co-host Charlie Rose remarked, "But there are reports you were reluctant to win -- that other people in the family were more in favor of it than you."

Mitt Romney said, "This for me was not about, 'Hey, I want to be president and have the Secret Service around and live in that big White House.' This, for me, was about making sure that we could get the country on the right track, and the question I had is, 'Can I win? Am I the person most likely and most effective to be able to get the country back on track?' As so, as long as I was concerned about winning, I wondered, 'should I be supporting someone else with a better chance?'"

A new book called "Double Down: Game Change 2012" by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reveals details about the vetting process of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The book alleges that Christie was not selected by Mitt Romney as a 2012 GOP vice presidential running mate because of concerns about his background, Politico reported.

O'Donnell noted that Christie said this week that Mitt Romney called him to apologize. Asked what he said to Christie, Mitt Romney replied, "I was very upset that the vetting process that we pursued ended up having a leak in it, that an individual released confidential information, embarrassed my campaign, embarrassed me. I told him, '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 be able to keep it private."

Going forward in politics, Mitt Romney said he wants , over the coming few years, to "make sure that our party adopts processes that nominate people who can connect with the largest number of voters."

He added, "I'm concerned about a trend as opposed to 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 because the country's in the balance. I'm very concerned on everything from health care to education to debt policies and spending. "

He continued, "We're on a track which is making America weaker and the world needs a strong America, and our children need a strong America."

Another issue -- immigration -- is something the Republican Party must deal with, Mitt Romney said. Asked if there should be a pathway to citizenship put forward, he said, "I do believe those who come here illegally ought to have an opportunity to get in line with everybody else. I don't think those who come here illegally should jump to the front of the line or be given a special deal, be rewarded for coming here illegally, 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."

Also discussed on "CTM" is Ann Romney's new cookbook, "The Romney Family Table." She said the book is "as far away from politics as could be."

She said, "It's also about happy things, bringing people to the table, talking about love, and how we live our life through food, honestly, anytime we celebrate, anything wonderful in life or sad in life, we do it around the table and bringing people to the table and talking about love and family."

"The Romney Family Table" is on sale now.