All-Star Panel: Fallout over Gruber's comments continues

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 17, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: As you look live at the White House there. Sometimes you have gremlins, sometimes it's just not as smooth as other times. That's why we're bringing in our panel to save it all, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor National Review, Ron Fournier, senior political columnist of National Journal, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. As we wait for the gremlins to leave us, let's talk about Jonathan Gruber and the headache this has caused this administration and ObamaCare in general.

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: I was out of town last week, so I missed a lot of this.

BAIER: Welcome back.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.


GOLDBERG: I heard about it. But it was today doing my homework for this that I finally read up on it. I just got angrier and angrier about it. In a lot of ways this spectacle represents not just everything that's wrong with the Obama administration. It's sort of everything that's wrong with liberalism and a lot that's wrong with America itself. You've got this guy who is pretending to be an objective, independent analyst, who's got huge amounts of skin in the game in terms of money he'd make over off consulting fees, but also off of the prestige of being involved and the speeches he could do, which haven't been tallied in these numbers. Anyway, it's millions of dollars being touted around through a transmission belt of liberal journalists who all are pretending to be objective analysts too, quoting each other, reaffirming each other, all with the help of the White House which went along with this soup to nuts, what a process which this guy said was all about lies and misleading the American people. And then when caught about it, the same administration tries to dismiss him as if he was just some sort of random White House intruder.

The whole thing stinks. It's not just that he's getting rich. It's the hypocrisy that every time Republicans complain about ObamaCare, they say it's just because those evil, profit-hungry Koch brothers are trying to get rich, which was always a lie. It is also that this law itself makes American life more complex. And then there's this leaching new class of people, who profit from the complexity that they are imposing upon the society. And so it's like a pinata. You can hit it from any angle and you'll get something out of it.

BAIER: You feel plugged back in?

GOLDBERG: A little bit...

BAIER: Back in the mix?

GOLDBERG: Yes, I'm working on it.


FOURNIER: Well, I was kidding Jonah, because the President of the United States said just yesterday, I just heard about this. Now, you were on vacation, you managed to hear about it. How can you not hear about the fact that one of your chief advisors on your signature bill said that the American people were stupid and that we deceived them in passing the bill. Either he didn't hear about it or he's completely out of touch. I have a theory -- either he's lying about it or he's completely out of touch. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's completely out of touch because his staff decided not to tell him because they agreed with everything Gruber thinks, including that they think we're stupid.

BAIER: So he just didn't know?

FOURNIER: I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that his staff did not tell him because they don't think there's anything wrong with what Gruber said. They think it's just, yes, that's how we did things.  And this is no big deal. This is how you get legislation passed. That's what they've been telling me. And I do think they think the American people are stupid, and I'm saying that as somebody who sees some gains that we have made with some ACA and who wants it to succeed. You're exactly right about everything else you said.

BAIER: Charles, before we get to you, and this is a good what they call deep tease -- more from Charles after this piece that we wanted to show you with the history and the facts behind this story.

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