Bold debate: Sarah Palin stands up to hostile Matt Lauer

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told NBC’s Matt Lauer that the “broken” HealthCare.gov site “is symbolic of a broken administration,” scoffing at the president’s attempt at an apology.

Palin appeared on Monday’s “Today” show to promote her new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.” But first, Lauer wanted to ask her about the scandal that continues to rock Obama’s second term.

“The president apologized at the end of the last week, for not only the issues with the website, but broken promises as well,” Lauer said. “Did he say what he had to say?”

Palin nearly laughed.

“What apology?’’ she said. “What apology? He could have acknowledged a bit that there’s a broken website. The broken website is the least of America’s worries. This broken website I think is symbolic of a broken administration. Take over one-sixth of our economy and the socialized medicine that’s being crammed down our throat, that’s what’s broken.”

Lauer suggested Americans are getting a better deal with Obamacare.

“[He] said you get to keep your existing policy if you like it,” Lauer said. “Five percent of Americans can’t keep it because it doesn’t meet the standards of the new health care law. If it turns out, Governor, that they end up – those 5 percent of people – with a better health insurance policy, do you think they’ll forgive him for the broken promise?”

Palin took issue with Lauer’s logic.

“But where do you get this 5 percent?” she asked. “It’s not 5 percent. It’s most Americans will not be able to keep the health care policy and programs that they had desired and the new programs that are being forced down our throat are unaffordable. People who are being told today if you – and some of them are still being told – ‘Well, if you like that insurance policy and that coverage, you still will be able to keep it. It’s just going to cost you a little bit more.’ That’s the point, if it’s going to cost you more, then it’s not the same policy.”

Lauer quickly changed the subject, asking if New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie could save the party.

“I would never put my faith and hope in any one individual politician,’’ Palin said. “Not any of them. There is no Ronald Reagan on the scene today. If he were on the scene, that’s who I would put my faith in. New Jersey, a blue state, has a Republican governor. Right on. It beats the alternative.”

Lauer finally broached the subject of Palin’s new book, in which she writes about her belief that the Christmas holiday is under assault from atheists and secular liberals.

“What I’m saying is, we need to protect the heart of Christmas and not let an angry atheist armed with an attorney, a Scrooge, tell us that we can’t celebrate traditional faith in America,’’ she said. “We have a constitutionally-protected right to celebrate faith, and Christmas is a part of that.”

Watch the contentious interview here via NBC:

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