Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) on Thursday refused to apologize for enacting a health care plan that critics say mirrors the one President Obama passed last year, defiantly arguing that his state-based approach was different than the president's and right legislation for Massachusetts.
"I also recognize, a lot of pundits are saying I should stand up and say this whole thing was a mistake," said the Republican presidential hopeful, speaking at a classroom at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"But there's only one problem with that - it wouldn't be honest," said Romney, who championed the now-controversial plan when he was governor of Massachusetts. "I in fact did what I felt was right for the people of my state."
Romney's comments came in a highly anticipated speech meant to deflect criticism from some activists in his own party as he prepares to launch his presidential campaign. While defending the approach he took in Massachusetts, he took pains to distinguish it from the president's program, which he said nationalized a solution tailored for a single state.
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Updated at 3:03 p.m.