White House Press Secretary Jay Carney really, really doesn’t want to talk about the various problems with the newly launched Obamacare insurance exchange website. The spokesman spent the bulk of a press briefing Tuesday dodging reporter questions, pleading ignorance, and referring reporters to the Department of Health and Human Services before ultimately bolting out of the White House briefing room as flummoxed reporters continued to ask questions.
Carney told the reporters that he was unable to answer many of the questions about the glitches on the website because he doesn’t really know how websites are built.
“I’m not a computer expert, I don’t build websites,” Carney said.
When asked whether Administration officials would cooperate with a Congressional inquiry into the $500 million failed website, Carney called into question Congress’s ability to conduct a “legitimate” investigation.
“I’m just saying that everybody here that wasn’t born yesterday has seen questionable congressional oversight in the past,” he said.
Here’s how the press briefing went:
Reporters asked Carney why the site was launched when Administration officials knew through testing that the site would be prone to failure… Carney told them to ask HHS.
Reporters then asked the press secretary about the White House’s decision to bring in former acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeff Zients to help straighten out the mess… Carney referred the reporters to HHS.
Carney was asked to provide a ballpark figure for how much it will cost taxpayers to repair the Obamacare website by Fox News’s Ed Henry… Carney told Henry to ask HHS.
Henry asked Carney to provide information about the “tech surge” of experts who would be charged with fixing the Obamacare website…. Carney referred him to HHS.
After his closing remarks—“…Well, again, I would refer you to HHS about what information they have and what they’re able to provide. Gotta go.”— Carney bolted from the room as a reporter tried to ask a question. Another reporter asked why HHS didn’t provide a representative to replace Carney.
In Conclusion, if you have any questions about Obamacare, call the Department of Health and Human Services: 1-877-696-6775. Gotta go.
H/T: Weasel Zippers