Media piles on Jay Carney over Obamacare website debacle

ABC’s Jon Karl pressed White House press secretary Jay Carney Monday on charging people a fine for not enrolling in Obamacare when the website didn’t work. Minutes later, NBC’s Chuck Todd took a turn, asking who “misled the president” into thinking the website was ready to go.

“Let me make sure I got that last part right,” Karl said. “Given all the problems that we have seen with people trying to enroll in this program, is the White House going to be delaying the mandate?”

Carney had been trying to explain to CNN’s Brianna Keilar that exceptions would be made for those who didn’t have access by living in states who had not accepted Medicaid funding, but said he was not talking about delaying the individual mandate.

“Well why not?” Karl asked. “Why not delay? You are going to charge people a fine for not enrolling.”

Carney stuck to the talking points.

“We’re three weeks into a six-month enrollment period,” he said. “As I said, the law itself as written makes clear that Americans with access to affordable insurance would need to have insurance by March 31 … Our focus is on making the Affordable Care Act work and making sure that Americans have access to these plans. Not on figuring out who is to blame for a problem that clearly exists and we need to fix.”

Karl kept pressing.

“You can’t really charge people a fine for not getting health insurance if don’t fix this mess,” Karl said. “You can’t make the website work, can you?”

Watch Carney’s exchange with Karl here:

Moments later, Todd asked who let the president make the announcement the Obamacare website was ready for business.

“Five days before the launch, the president said it’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health care plans, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak,” Todd said. “Who misled him? Who misled the president on this? Are you telling me five days before that somebody let the president go out to the American public to give this speech and say this and make this promise?”

Carney said that the president made clear in his remarks Monday that he’s frustrated, and focused on making improvements.

“Adding a server would have fixed it in a heartbeat,” Todd said. “That isn’t the issue, right?”

Carney’s short response led Todd to say, “I am not a computer science guy.”

The exchange became tense over the causes of the problems, as seen here:

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About Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs and PAC management for nearly 20 years. Cheryl can be reached by email at Cheryl@bizpacreview.com & on Twitter @CherylBPR

  • sonney

    I feel sorry for J Carney for have to keep making excuses for this President and his failed policies. I just hope the American People wake up to this change in their lives and see how much it is going to hurt.

    • buck

      I don’t feel sorry for carney. He wanted to be the waterboy and he’s just one of a string of liars from this
      administration….

    • 4dees

      I don’t feel sorry for Jay Carney……….he’s dong the job he’s being paid to do and that is repeat all of the talking points from Valerie Jarrett.; Jay is a parrot just like Obama.

  • Gary Ross Calvert

    Isn’t it telling that the President claims that since he knows there is a problem “it will be fixed”. I guess that means he doesn’t see a problem with 4 Americans in service to America being killed in Benghazi. I don’t see anything being done about that. “Move on, no problem here.”?

  • Judith77

    It’s not the president lied to the softy journalist, it’s ‘who let him down.’ As the world Spins…

  • Judith77

    They’ll get the aliens on as soon as they believe they have enough. That is why they hold the large marketing gatherings for them and talk about their rights.. This is the plan. They don’t have enough citizens buying it. That will break insurance companies. Then they’ll go for the jugular with a single payer system. Watch and see.

  • Billie F Smith

    This crap is not affordable!! This is fraud and extortion at its worst as every citizen is being held to this scam!!

    • jlenoreb

      It’s a communist plan to take over and control every citizen! If anyone has studied history, this is what they do first. Then the rest is easy, since the sheeple have lost their rights and freedoms!

  • Rose Adkins

    It is more than a server..it is a train wreck.cannot remember the senator that first used that description but he must have had an inside source cause it was sure enough true.it’s not that you just can’t get on that’s the problem,it’s an easy hackable place by all accounts..it was not ready the bill itself was just not ready..

    • CableNewsGuy

      That would be Max Baucus (D), he was one of the authors of obamacare.

  • Mister E

    Meanwhile, while the press and the sheeple blindly cry for The Heritage Foundation/Hillary/Romney/ObamaCare, we have a litany of scandals that should impeach him:

    Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the National Parks episode during the shutdown, the violation of the court order on off shore oil drilling, exemptions on the above law (strike that, corporate & special interest money grab), the TSA and their criminal activities, Iran, Syria, Libya.

    But, those don’t exist sheeple. Move along, nothing to see here.

  • Doug

    It’s one of the worst jobs in the world. But hey, he knew what he was getting into and he’s well-paid.

  • Egon

    This is the “Mother” of all Clusterfarks…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1218368247 Valerie Engh

    “…it’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health care plans…” LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL “Affordable” according to whom???? What a bunch of liars!!!