OTR Interviews

Sen. Rand Paul: ObamaCare architect Gruber should return money to taxpayers

Senator on key ObamaCare figure's testimony on his 'stupid' comments about American voters and why he believes he should return his earnings. #Gruber, #GruberGate

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 10, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Senator Rand Paul joins us. Good evening, sir.

RAND PAUL, KENTUCKY SENATOR: Glad to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, so he [ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber] has apologized. But is there harm from what he did, not just what he said but in the whole sort of handling of this?

PAUL: I think rather than an apology, maybe he should return some of the money the taxpayers forwarded to him.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much? First of all, he didn't want to tell us how much, but estimates up to 6 million.

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: Yeah. And apparently, on some of his disclosure forms, he wasn't quite accurate with this, so we need to look into that. But I think an apology is not enough. Basically, if you're a consultant for government, you're expected to be honest. He's now admitted and bragged about how dishonest he was in the presentation of this. Because he said you know the way to get it through is to trick the American people. And by the way, his disdain for the American public is that they're so stupid I can trick them. I think really that's not just -- he shouldn't just apologize. I think he should return his paycheck.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the things he said is that they deliberately had a CBO not score the mandate as a tax. And that was a big fight when the vote was on ObamaCare. Would that have made any difference if there wasn't this sort of shifty activity in calling it not a tax and it is a tax?

PAUL: Maybe we should have informed Justice Roberts since he ruled on it as a tax. So yeah, it's a really kind of a legalistic thing. But the whole Obamacare case turned on that Justice Roberts deciding it wasn't a penalty. It was a tax. Yeah, it is a big deal. I frankly disagree with Justice Roberts. I mean, it's a huge mistake to think that we are going to presume that all laws are constitutional and give always the legislature the benefit of the doubt. I'm a big believer that the courts are there to try to protect natural liberty and to protect your rights, and that we shouldn't always concede to majority rule. Majorities can do really bad things sometimes.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what should be done? Now, we've got the situation where of course he says he's not the architect of ObamaCare, he's the architect of Romneycare. The Obama administration is running from him. He has now said they were deceitful about the mandate. He's also said things about whether states that didn't set up the exchanges should get subsidy and tax credits. So is it all just no big deal? It's just a lot of noise?

PAUL: No, no, I think it is a big deal. I think dishonesty and being paid for dishonesty, there should be repercussions. We've asked the investigator general to look into this. I've written a letter to the investigator general and said we need to investigate. I'd also like to see his communications with the White House, frankly. The White House pretends as if they don't know who he is. And even though they've mentioned him by name in the past, he's been to the White House many times. I'd like to know about the communication. I'd also like to know did he use his position and did other people at the White House use their position to get him contracts? He made millions of dollars pedaling his false analysis to what, half a dozen state governments.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the same thing could happen. I always say the Washington is a city of no consequence. We see billions of dollars being wasted in the city. Now, we seed a guy who's made a lot of money off ObamaCare with a very sordid story behind it. I mean, are there really going to be consequences? How can we get consequences?

PAUL: I think some of the consequences were in the election. There was some response. Gruber was a small part of it. He didn't lose the election for all the Democrats, but this building unhappiness with the president, limiting your choice to your doctor, all the limitations of ObamaCare.

And then we find out it's a bunch of elitists who think we're all you know too dumb to figure this out that they tricked us and gave us ObamaCare. It's insulting to most of us who live in Middle America, who think that these elitists think that they're better than we are and they're going to give us stuff and it's going to be good for us and take it or else they'll give us a penalty or a tax as Justice Roberts calls it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius made a statement something to the effect that ObamaCare one of its big problems was just simply the name of it. That has a bad connotation. It's a branding issue.

PAUL: Yeah. But I think the president is sort of a brand. But he's a bad brand. But it's his baby. He came up with this concept. I think what hurt ObamaCare is not the name. When the tide really shifted, there were a lot of people had misgivings.

But when people found out they couldn't keep their doctor, when you tell Americans they can no longer choose their doctor, that they have lost their freedom of choice, Americans, we kind of want to decide what we want. We want it when we go to the grocery store, when we go to the doctor, we want to be able to pick. That's sort of a fundamental American thing about our system. I think when we found out we couldn't choose our doctor, I think public opinion really turned against Obamacare.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what would you call it now?

PAUL: The "lack of choice" care.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, senator, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.