The Ghost of Mitt Romney Returns

The Atlantic Wire

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney returned to the Sunday shows almost exactly one year since he lost the election to Barack Obama, only to attack the President and call his second term into question. The former Republican politician wasted no time attacking the President over his rocky Obamacare roll out during his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "The president failed to learn the lessons that came from the experience in Massachusetts," Romney said, repeating that he thinks a state-by-state healthcare plan would work better. Romney then launched into a greater attack on the President's "you can keep your insurance" controversy. "Perhaps the most important lesson the president, I think, failed to learn was, you have to tell the American people the truth," he 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." Romney thinks the guy elected to lead the country instead of him is no longer fit to lead. "The fact that the president sold it on a basis that was not true has undermined the foundation of his second term. I think it's rotting it away," Romney said. "We've got to have a president that can lead, and right now he's not able to do so." The former Massachusetts governor also praised Chris Christie, who his campaign allegedly passed on as vice president because of health and legal concerns. "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," he said. Romney claims Christie has put all those problems behind him, and even predicted Christie could take Republicans to the promised land in 2016. "I know in a campaign people drudge up all the old stuff again, but he’s already dealt with it," he said. "His health is very solid, very good. There's not an issue there. ... 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 House." But Romney wasn't ready to hand out a formal endorsement or anything. Christie was one of a long list of Republican names who Romney thinks could become the next nominee. "It's kind of early to say who is the most electable and who would be the favorite candidate," he said. "But you look at Chris Christie and say that's a very impressive guy with a great track record, with a demonstrated ability to work across the aisle. ... It's a pretty compelling story. And there's some other very compelling stories: Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio. I mean, there is a long list of very capable people, but Chris Christie stands out as one of the very strongest lights of the Republican Party." Host David Gregory asked Romney about a name left out who most everyone expects to make a huge push for the nominee: Ted Cruz. "I’m not going to disqualify anybody, but I think I’ve indicated some of the names I think are most effective at becoming elected and we’ll see where it goes," Romney said.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham promised to continue holding up Senate nominations until he can finally speak to Benghazi survivors and to fight for a 20-week abortion ban, but denied either effort was part of his upcoming re-election campaign. "I shouldn’t have to do this, I shouldn’t have to make these kind of threats," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "They should provide in a responsible way those who lived through Benghazi to be interviewed separate and apart from the Obama administration to find out exactly what happened before, during and after." He also pledged to introduce a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. "This is a debate worthy of a great democracy. When do you become you? At 20 weeks of a pregnancy, what is the proper role of the government in protecting that child?" Graham asked. But the South Carolina Republican rejected the notion these moves were entirely meant to beef up his reelection efforts. "I’ve been a pro-life member of Congress since Day one," he said.

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she wants the President to "call a timeout," or completely give up on Obamacare so that Republicans can pitch in on healthcare reform on CNN's State of the Union. "I’m calling on the president now to say let’s have a timeout on this, Mr. President. You call a timeout on this," she said. "Convene a group of bipartisan leaders to address health care concerns in this country because this is not working." Ayotte claimed HealthCare.gov isn't the only issue, that her constituents have called her office about other problems too, like rising premiums and cancellation notices. 

Fox News Sunday host tried to figure out what's going on with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who recently put his Massachusetts home up for sale and started a PAC in New Hampshire. Many suspect Brown is angling to make a run for Senate in the granite state. Brown said the explanation for either move is much simpler. "[The house] is too big... We’re downsizing," Brown said. The PAC was easy to explain, too "By law, everybody knows that you need to form a PAC in order to give $1 to anybody. That’s the law. That’s the way it is." Brown was vague about what exactly his future holds, but he made it clear there are no plans for him to disappear into the shadows. "With regard to my political future, listen, there’s a role for me," he said. "This isn’t about me, it’s about ...  letting people know who we are as a party and how we can move forward with a positive message to convince people how to vote for us." Wallace wasn't entirely convinced Brown's not going to run for Senate. "I’ll take that as a definite maybe," he said.

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Sen. Rand Paul said on ABC's This Week he wants to challenge everyone who accused him of plagiarism to a duel. Unfortunately he also realizes duelling in Kentucky is illegal. "I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting -- I have never intentionally done so and like I say, 'If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know it’d be a duel challenge,'" Paul said. Multiple outlets have accused him in recent days of plagiarizing parts of his speeches and his recent book from Wikipedia and think tank materials. Paul said he thinks people are just out to get him. "I didn’t get into the secondary sources and say I quoted Einstein as according to an AP story or as according to Wikipedia," Paul said. "I think the spoken word shouldn’t be held to the same sort of standard that you have if you’re giving a scientific paper. I’ve written scientific papers, I know how to footnote things, but we’ve never footnoted speeches, and if that’s the standard I’m going to be held to, yes, we will change and we will footnote things." Paul said he'll change his speech writing ways if that's what's required of him. But Paul also thinks he's still in the right. Paul's being "unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters," he said.

This article was originally published at http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/11/ghost-mitt-romney-returns/71201/

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