A panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe reacted to recently revealed hard evidence that the Obama administration was "not forthcoming" about the pivotal role Jonathan Gruber, the notoriously candid MIT economist, played in the shaping of Obamacare.
In November, a series of videos of Gruber openly admitting that the Affordable Care Act was written in such as way as to take advantage of the "stupidity" American voters. Despite a host of Democrats having touted his role in the law's creation, after the videos emerged, the White House and Democratic leaders desperately attempted to downplay his involvement.
But after reviewing 20,000 pages of emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that Gruber's fingerprints were all over the ACA and that he and the White House were engaged in "frequent consultations" between January 2009 and March 2010:
The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.
A "Morning Joe" panel including author Mark Halperin (of the infamous Ted Cruz "interrogation"), former DNC chair Howard Dean, and former Democratic congressman Harold Ford, reluctantly faced the findings, the former offering an apology to Republicans, who he admitted were "right," with Dean and Ford only able to bring themselves to admit that White House officials "were not fully forthcoming":
SCARBOROUGH: But that's not what the White House said, Mark Halperin. They said he was a bit player...
HALPERIN: I owe my Republican sources an apology, because they kept telling me he was hugely involved and the White House played it down. They were right. The Republicans were right … I think the [White House] was not fully forthcoming.
When pressed by Scarborough, Dean and Ford repeated Halperin's line amid laughter. "They were not fully forthcoming," said Dean. "I would say they were not fully forthcoming," repeated Ford.
Scarborough finally turned to co-host Mika Brzezinski and asked her if she was willing to "talk straight":
SCARBOROUGH: The White House assured us that Mr. Gruber was a bit player. It appears now that was not true. Did the White House lie about Mr. Gruber’s involvement?
BRZEZINSKI: It certainly appears they did.
When the "Grubergate" videos first emerged, Dean blasted Obamacare as being "put together by a bunch of elitists who don't fundamentally understand the American people." (Dean's vision of a perfect law: government-controlled single-payer healthcare.)
Video, partial transcript via WFB.