- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mitt Romney on Sunday took aim at Obamacare, saying the issue of health-care reform should have been left to the states.

“The idea that the government knows better than the American people what kind of insurance they have to have makes no sense, and it’s something which I think the American people are rejecting in large numbers, and I think it’s going to hurt the president and hurt the country and a lot of families,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“People don’t want to be told what type of insurance they have to have,” he said.

While Republicans have continued to steer the national conversation toward the rocky rollout and the president’s false promise that those who liked their plan could keep it, Democrats have complained that conservatives haven’t offered a solution other than a full repeal of the president’s signature health-care law. Mr. Romney, however, said a transfer of power to the states is the core tenant of Republican lawmakers’ plan to reform health care in America.

“I think the heart of the Republican plan for health care in replacing Obamacare is to say, ‘Look, let’s let states put in place their own plans that make sense for their people. We can have federal guidelines saying you need to get people covered, you need to deal with pre-existing conditions, but don’t have the federal government take over health care,’” he said.

Mr. Romney would not speculate on how the 2012 presidential race would have gone differently if President Obama had been honest about people being able to keep their health care if they liked it.

“I wish I could go back and turn back the clock and take another try, but history is in the past. I’m not going to worry about what could have happened,” he said.

In the appearance on Fox, Mr. Romney also addressed security concerns at the Sochi Winter Olympics next month, where Muslim extremists have already vowed to disturb the Games with violence. When he was in charge of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Mr. Romney said he was worried generally about security just months after the attacks on 9/11, but that Russia presents unique challenges given that specific threats have been leveled at the country.

Despite that, Mr. Romney said he thinks Russia has the resources to keep spectators and athletes safe.

“It’s very, very frightening to have any kind of Olympic event on your national soil, and to recognize that there may be groups that target that event for some kind of an attack,” he said. “My guess is the Russians have done a pretty good job on the intelligence side of things to keep the most dangerous people away.”

On the show, he also briefly accepted the apology from MSNBC talk show host Melissa Harris-Perry, who ridiculed the Romney family’s Christmas photo, which featured Mr. Romney surrounded by his grandchildren, including a recently adopted black infant.

“The folks at MSNBC made a big mistake and they’ve apologized for it,” he said. “People like me are fair targets. If you get into the political game you can expect incoming. But children — that’s beyond the line. I think [MSNBC] understand that and feel that as well. I think it’s a heartfelt apology and for that reason we hold no ill will at all.”

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