All-Star Panel: Political fallout over ObamaCare continues

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: President Obama in an interview with NBC moments ago, apologizing. He also went on to say that he wasn't clear. We'll bring that in just a second, but let's bring in our panel, Jason Riley, editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal, Juan Williams, columnist with The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who's got a new book out, you may have heard, "Things that Matter," second only to Bill O'Reilly on the New York Times bestseller list next week. 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: You're doing great. And your commission is already in the mail.


BAIER:  OK, let's talk about the president. Apologizing in this interview, also saying that he wasn't clear. 

KRAUTHAMMER: But he was extremely clear. He was crystal clear. He said if you have your plan and you like your plan, you will keep your plan, period. The punctuation is the key.  No context, no caveats, no exceptions. That's what the word "period" means. He couldn't have been clearer. And for him to pretend he wasn't is simply appalling. 

Chris Christie had advice for the president in an interview I think last week. Why don't you just say we made a mistake and we're sorry and we're going to try to fix it? I think that would go a long way.  But I don't think this president is capable of ever saying that. 

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: I thought that's what he said. I thought he said he was sorry.  If people had a misapprehension based on what he said --

BAIER: Sorry that they're finding themselves in this situation based on "assurances they got from me." 

WILLIAMS: Correct. I don't think you can be much more direct than that. Then he said we're going to take steps to fix it. The problem is that people feel they were misled, and in some cases, these cancellations, again a very small percentage of the market. 

BAIER: We've been down that road. 

WILLIAMS:  I think we've been down a lot of this road.  But the fact is that I think today he was generous in saying he was sorry. 

JASON RILEY, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think this is going to get worse before it gets better.  Republicans smell blood.  These hearings with Secretary Sebelius have been horrible for the White House from a PR perspective. 

The irony of what happened yesterday with the Democrats who are scared going to see the president is that from the report the president and White House spent a lot of time trying to hide the fact that these flaws were apparent in the exchanges from Republicans because they didn't want to feed the opposition. And it turns out now it's the Democrats that are the biggest problem, who are worried about their election prospects next year. 
Obviously that had something to do with Virginia. But it's not only red state Democrats. In New Jersey, a state that Obama won by double digits, a deep blue state, exit polls show that 50 percent oppose ObamaCare, which is about the same as it was in Virginia, a much more conservative state. 

BAIER: Speaking of red state Democrats, Mary Landrieu from Louisiana is up for re-election next year.  President Obama heads to the Port of New Orleans tomorrow.  She will fly on Air Force One, but she is not going to appear at that event when the president is speaking. Her office says the U.S.
senator has a longstanding engagement at Lake Charles that takes place at the same time and she can't be in both places at once, according to the staff. Lake Charles is about 205 miles away. 

KRAUTHAMMER: She's going to be reorganizing her closet. And that will take priority. Look, the president now is toxic. The thing is called ObamaCare. There's no running away from it. It's got his name on it. You see the president and think about the policy and you know it's a disaster. 

The problem for Democrats is they are hostage to a bunch of geeks working right now late into the night trying to fix a system which is not just glitches.  The architecture, the underlying structure of it is wrong.  I think the likelihood of it being fixed working like you would expect from any normal commercial private website normally by December 1 is pretty small. And the pressure on the White House will become irresistible. If it isn't up and running smoothly and perfectly, they're going to start with postponements and then the whole thing starts to unravel. 

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