OTR Interviews

Did Obama defraud the American people on ObamaCare?

Former congressman Allen West on whether the president's misleading statements on the Affordable Care Act are tantamount to fraud


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 11, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX HOST: It just got worse. New information tonight. Here is a hint. Zero on one exchange. Can President Obama bail himself out of this mess? His critics are on fire.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: The president's biggest problem right now is you have got to tell the truth.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Who committed the greater fraud, Bernie Madoff or Barack Obama? Madoff defrauded a few. This is defrauding the entire country.

RICK PERRY, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: He needs to stand up in front of the American people and say, you know what, I perpetrated a fraud.

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: He totally lied. He, therefore, got his ObamaCare passed. Now had Congress had known this, even the Democrats would have voted against him.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: I want to know why we were promised a state-of-the-art website and we got an abacus and a sun dial.

To say it's a train wreck is an insult to train wrecks.

CHRISTIE: Anybody who has run anything in their lives could see this coming a mile away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never seen anything run so incompetent as what we have watched.

LIMBAUGH: The president of the United States lied to the entire country on the most important thing to people, their health care and their current plan.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN: It is a real significant distortion to say that hundreds of thousands of people are being canceled. What's actually happening is that they very likely are going to get a better plan for less money.

CHRISTIE: The fact is that the president didn't tell the truth. It turns out not to be true that people could keep their insurance policy.


VAN SUSTEREN: Former Congressman Allen West joins us. Good evening, sir.

ALLEN WEST, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Good evening, Greta. It's a pleasure to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to have you.

Well, from all those sound bites, it sounds like the president's critics are really going heavy handed on calling him a liar.

WEST: Well, there is no doubt that the president did, I believe, purposefully deceive the American people in order for his, you know, signature policy, the ObamaCare, to be able to get passed. And now, we see truth come to power in the fact that this thing is -- you know, we talked about it before, Greta. It's based upon very false premises and it's not going to be able to sustain itself and it's not ready to be rolled out. And the fact that you are having so many Americans being forced off of their private insurance plans to try to get them to go into these exchanges, which are not being well-run and well orchestrated, this is a calamity.

VAN SUSTEREN: I will tell you that in putting together that opening, we actually looked to see if any Democrats supported the president today, said anything. It is a holiday in Washington today. You know, we can't even -- the Democrats are rather silent with what is going on except with the Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on it. What in the world can the president do to bail himself out and bail the American people out so that those who are harmed are not harmed by it?

WEST: Well, first of all, you did see 15 Democrat Senators have impromptu meeting with the president last week for about two hours. And Alaska Senator Mark Begich called it a crisis in confidence. I think right now, the president has to take a page from Hillary Clinton and hit the restart button and go back to the start and say, OK, this thing is not ready for prime time, let's scrap this. Let's start truly having some bipartisanship and let's sit down and talk about free-market solutions. Let's, first of all, solve the crisis of 4.2 million Americans who have lost their private insurance plans. Let's see how we can work with the insurance industry and get those plans back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think he will do that or can do that because this is his signature accomplishment, what is he very proud of as president of the United States? There are other -- not to say that the Navy SEALs getting Usama bin Laden wasn't huge as well. But this is something that he has been very adamant that he was standing behind. Do you think that he has it in himself to say, look, it's not working for a lot of Americans, let's put it on hold and let's see if we can fix it?

WEST: Well, the short answer is. No, I believe that his arrogance precludes him from doing that and admitting that he was wrong, that he took the wrong approach with trying to have a government-centric health care solution to the problems that we see. And the American Health care Reform Act that the Republicans Study Committee has brought forth, Dr. Tom Price, Republican of Georgia, has done a great job. He is an orthopedic surgeon. I think the president should listen to him.

VAN SUSTEREN: I will tell what you is so deeply disturbing about the law. Right now, a lot of Democrats are very upset. Republicans have always been upset about it. But a lot of Democrats are upset the medical device tax because a lot of them have hit their constituents. They are very upset about it. They're upset about individual policies, other constituents that have been canceled since they don't have -- meet the full requirements of ObamaCare requirements. And they are upset about the website not working.

Well, with the exception of the website not working -- and, of course, they are upset because of a funding problem, too. With the exception of the website not working, these problems were evident from day one. But not one of them bothered to read the bill or fully understand it. They just sort of signed off on it. Not a single person. And so I don't have a lot of sympathy because they should have known about these things if they had spent, you know, a little time looking at the bill.

WEST: Well, contrary to what the DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has said, the Democrats are upset with this whole rollout because of politics, not because of policy. Republicans are upset because it is bad policy. But the Democrats are concerned about what this will do for them, all of those members of the House and those Senators that are up for re-election in 2014. That's the only care and concern that they have. If this thing was going a little bit better, they would be all behind it. Now they are somewhat like the rats on the Titanic, seeking to jump off to save their own self-interest.

VAN SUSTEREN: I must say, Senator Mary Landrieu -- and I'll probably talk about it later in the show -- put up a bill -- she is a Democrat -- in the Senate, which, even if it passed, it is absurd. It couldn't possibly work. What she wants is just something you can't do. You can't order insurance companies to do what she wants.

WEST: But that's -- that's her trying to show some type of care and concern because she is running in a tough re-election --

VAN SUSTEREN: She is in trouble.

WEST: -- in a red state.


WEST: Absolutely.


WEST: So it's not about her caring about policies. It's about politics.

VAN SUSTEREN: "Guardian of the Republic," a new book coming out by you, hitting the shelves in April.

WEST: Yeah.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does that mean -- a lot of times, people write books to give us notice that they are running for office again?

WEST: Well, it's not so much about running for office again. I will continue to serve this country. And that's why I would say Happy Veterans Day to all my brothers and sisters that are out there. We all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. We are all guardians of this great republic. I want to talk about the early lessons of my life, the influence of my parents, my political philosophy, and what I see as far as a vision, a way ahead to go out of this crisis and restore this great republic to the greatness that it can be and should be. I think that it's so important that we have folks that will lay out a strategic plan and a blueprint for that to occur. If the American people call me back to serve, I will be happy to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, Happy Veteran's Day, because you are, indeed, a vet.

To those who are watching, we are going to talk about Veteran's Day later because this is a very important day to our country.

Congressman, thank you, sir.

WEST: Thank you. And it's an honor to serve. Take care, Greta.