Politics

Tribune columnist Clarence Page: President ‘probably’ knew he was lying in selling Obamacare

On Monday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, left-of-center Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page acknowledged that President Obama had lied about the Affordable Care Act.

HEWITT: Now here’s what the President said in 2009.
OBAMA (tape): Here’s a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you’ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.
HEWITT: Now Clarence, you have written a few columns defending Obamacare, but you can’t defend that as other than an utter untruth, can you?
PAGE: Oh, Obamacare is like the proverbial camel being a horse designed by committee, right? It’s gone through so many changes and all, that the original dream has been largely corrupted. And there’s no guarantee, I knew even, and Obama knew even at the time he said it, there was no guarantee everybody was going to keep their insurance, because people couldn’t keep their insurance under the old system.
HEWITT: So he knew he was lying when he lied?
PAGE: I’m sorry?
HEWITT: He knew he was lying?
PAGE: Probably. Probably. But that’s one of those political lies, you know.  It’s one of those, you know, in the abstract, it’s correct.

Hewitt went on to ask if it was a forgivable lie. Page chalked it to the president being “too grandiose.”

“Well, the question is, most people will be able to keep their own insurance policies,” Page said. “And that was the point he was trying to make. He was just being too grandiose and saying, and guaranteeing that everybody was going to keep their insurance.

Page went on to criticize the president not for what he had called “overselling,” but not being more hands-on during the drafting of the legislation back in 2009.

“Well, a lot of things bother me more than that, but not because of overselling his program,” Page added. “Every president oversells their programs. But just the fact that the whole process of putting Obamacare together…he gave up too much early on, in my view.”

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