OTR Interviews

Democrat defends Reid claims of 'untrue' ObamaCare horror stories

Sen. Chris Murphy goes 'On the Record' to set the record straight about the Senate Majority leader's controversial accusations against Americans suffering ill-effects from ObamaCare

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It does not matter how many times you hear it, it is still hard to believe that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this on the Senate floor about ObamaCare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID: There's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut is defending Leader Reid's comments. He joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, D-CONN.: Thanks for having me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So, defend it. All ObamaCare horror stories are untrue.

MURPHY: Well, I think Senator Reid later even that day walked that back suggesting that not all the horror stories are true.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't hear him walk it back. When did he walk it back?

MURPHY: I think he has made it pretty clear that ultimately we are talking about some very high profile stories that have been put into the response to the State of the Union speech. Commercials against a lot our Democratic incumbent that really aren't true. There is a commercial running in Michigan against a candidate running for the senate there who says that they lost their doctor and they couldn't get affordable coverage. The truth was she couldn't keep her doctor in a plan on the Affordable Care Act and get a previous half as much.

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: But listen, I'm going to concede, right? Separate aside from what Senator Reid said of course some people will have that experience. There's a lot of people had bad experiences under the old health care system.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here's my problem. Here's a Senate Majority leader. He goes to floor and says it. He didn't go back to the floor and correct it. I mean, he had plenty of opportunities. He owns the floor and he is not just simply a first offender and saying awful things about people. He said about the -- he said about Governor Romney that he heard from a "credible source" that he hadn't paid income taxes. He's a lawyer. He won't even name the source, but he says this stuff to slime somebody. This is a leader. This is not just a rank and file senator. This is a majority leader. How does he get away with just saying awful things?

MURPHY: Well, listen, somebody has to push back -- I mean, on the idea that whether be the Koch brothers or other senators.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: How about George Soros? If we're going to talk about the Koch brothers talk about George Soros.

MURPHY: Somebody's got to push back on the idea that people are putting false ads on the air. I mean, Mary Landrieu has an ad running against her where supposedly Louisiana say getting mail canceling their health insurance. They're all actors. That's simply not true.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here is a good way. Some things are untrue. What he said was all were untrue. That's his problem, and he doesn't go back to the floor and said I was wrong when I said all. And I really hammer him because is he a lawyer. And he knows -- you know, getting the facts right matter.

MURPHY: Yes, getting the facts right does matter. And the fact is that when there are allies that are holding the senate who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lying about the Affordable Care Act on the air...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: This was the truth.

MURPHY: Listen, the truth hurts here because the fact is that 11 million people has signed up for healthcare under ObamaCare. We have saved the taxpayers $1.2 trillion expected in the last 10 years. That's -- that's the truth and the Republicans who don't like this law. That does hurt.

VAN SUSTEREN: I am -- obviously, you and I are talking different stories. You are talking on ObamaCare and I'm talking about Senator Harry Reid and Harry Reid as a leader, and saying things on the senate floor that are just not true and how he continues to be your leader, and how people continue to sort of step in line. Nobody quarrels with him to get the truth right, to be fair himself.

MURPHY: Let me say something about certain where Democrats have been on this. I think Democrats have been way too on the defensive about health care.

VAN SUSTEREN: None about -- how about Harry Reid? Senator Harry Reid.

MURPHY: No, this is getting to Senator Reid. Listen, I agree Senator Reid has been tough on Republicans.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't mind that he's tough. Actually, I admire somebody who is tough. I was a trial lawyer, be tough. But the facts -- the problem is that he is very loose. He has said things about even President Obama that were particularly unflattering and he had to walk those back. But he's got loose lips and he says terrible things and yet he continues to be your leader.

MURPHY: Listen, I think that right now it's important for the American people to know that there is hundreds of millions of dollars being spent saying things that are wrong. I know there are people with bad experiences with the health care law. And listen, I think that my impression is that Senator Reid has corrected that but.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know when, but you say that, but I never heard him.

MURPHY: Listen, but I stand by the idea that there should be somebody on the senate floor talking about not only the fact that a lot of the ads are wrong, but we should have some space to talk about good things that are happening.

VAN SUSTEREN: I totally -- look, you know what? I'm actually with you on that. Totally with you. Lets have the truth on the Senate floor, he owns the Senate floor as the Senate Majority leader, so for he should be the last person on the floor with the falsehood and at least not going back and correcting it.

MURPHY: Again, I think he has been clear about what the real story is here which is, that there are a lot more people that have good experiences than bad experiences and the fact is Harry Reid isn't spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the air lying about the Affordable Care Act and putting on to the air stories that aren't true. It's the Koch brothers and the Republican Senate Committee that are doing that. And it is worthwhile to bring that out into the light.

VAN SUSTEREN: And senator, you're good sport to come on. I appreciate it and I'll give you the last word. You come back?

MURPHY: All right. I will.