President Barack Obama needs to do something fast to restore people's trust, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says, adding that the president can't just hope to ride out the controversy surrounding his promise that people could keep their insurance plans.
"If this doesn't turn around pretty quickly, President Obama's going to lose his second term," Graham said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"Democrats are going to bail out in droves before next election, and his signature issue's going up in flames if he doesn't fix this," said Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
Van Susteren noted that a "secret meeting" on Wednesday with Senate Democrats facing re-election wasn't on Obama's official schedule. The administration appears to be in a "free fall" and "freaked," she said.
"He can't ride this out," Graham said. "He fundamentally misled the American people about something that was reassuring to hear."
Obama repeatedly said while trying to sell the public on the Affordable Care Act that "if you like your plan, you can keep it." He made the same promise about keeping doctors, and on one occasion punctuated it with the word "period."
Fox News reported that Obama made the promise on at least 24 separate occasions.
"That is now just going up in flames," Graham said, as news reports tell of people getting cancellation notices from their health insurance companies.
Obama tried to clarify this week that he had said all along that people could keep plans if they met the new standards required by Obamacare. But that hasn't flown even with some Democrats facing re-election in 2014, or even with supporters in the entertainment industry.
"He's got a revolt in his own party," Graham told Van Susteren.
Graham said the policy people in the White House told the political people months ago that what the president was saying wasn't accurate.
"And the political people supposedly told the policy people, this is the best way to sell this idea; we're going to keep selling it," Graham said. "That, to me, is disturbing."