Fox News contributors Stephen Hayes and Juan Williams sparred Tuesday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" over whether the Obama administration deliberately forged ahead with the launch of a flawed healthcare website in an attempt to stave off further criticism that the program wasn't ready.
Contributor Nina Easton first mentioned the idea on the "Special Report" panel on Tuesday, a day after President Obama acknowledged that www.healthcare.gov, the enrollment website for federal healthcare exchanges, was bogged down by technical glitches.
"It strikes me that this administration, which is supposed to be so cool and tech-savvy, with the ties to Silicon Valley, wouldn't have at least known that something this big and complex - you should roll out slowly," Easton said. "But I think they were hellbent on not emboldening Republicans who wanted to delay it."
Hayes later picked up on the idea, leading to a argument with Williams over the administration's intentions.
"They did this for purely political reasons," Hayes said. "By your characterization, they said, in effect, 'eh, let's take our chances, because we don't want to give Republicans the talking point.' If that's true - if that's close to true - that is outrageous on another level."
"You mean to say that in the midst of all the political polarization around this issue, that you are going to slam the Obama administration for making a decision to try to go ahead, so that - as not to feed the critics?" Williams countered. "I don't think that's fair."
"The's absolutely what I'm saying," Hayes shot back.