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Mitt Romney criticizes ‘dishonesty’ by Obama

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney on Sunday criticized President Obama for “dishonesty” on health care, saying in an interview that he felt compelled to speak out after Obama traveled to Boston to proclaim his signature federal health care law.

“I’m not looking for a platform. I’ve had that platform and that was a great honor,” Romney told the Globe. “Nevertheless, when the president comes to Boston and speaks to my record there, that obviously calls for me to stand up and express my own views.

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“But I know I wasn’t elected. He was,” Romney added. “I’d like the president to be successful in getting the country turned around, and I think he has put in jeopardy his entire second term by the dishonesty associated with his sale of Obamacare. I want to see him rebuild some credibility so that he can work with Congress to help the country.”

Romney spoke days after Obama traveled to Boston to defend his health care law in Faneuil Hall, where Romney signed the Massachusetts law in 2006.

Last week, the administration was forced to respond to complaints that hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving notices canceling coverage, running counter to Obama’s pledge that, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”

The plans being canceled do not meet new minimum standards, potentially affecting many of the 5 percent of Americans who purchase in the individual insurance market. Obama has argued that those people will receive much better coverage, but Republicans say he was not up front about that during the 2010 health care debate — or during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Romney spoke with the Globe after his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” During that appearance, his first time on the show since the election, he spoke about the future of the Republican Party and named several candidates he considers strong presidential contenders.

He said he thinks the best candidates are Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who was also Romney’s running mate.

When asked about Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party-backed Texas firebrand, Romney said he would not disqualify anyone but he had already named those with the best prospects.

Governor Deval Patrick, who also appeared on “Meet the Press,’’ defended Obama’s health care law, which has been criticized for its buggy website.

“The Affordable Care Act is not a website,” the Massachusetts governor said. “I think Governor Romney knows that, and the American people know that. It’s a values statement, and it does a lot of good for a lot of people. That has already begun; it will continue.

“The website is imperfect,’’ Patrick said. “That will get fixed, I’m confident of that. . . . It took us two years to get our website right in Massachusetts, and now we have virtually universal coverage.”

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser @globe.com.
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