Gibbs: I don’t remember discussing “keep your plan” lie, but it was certainly a wrong move

posted at 10:41 am on November 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Robert Gibbs ran communications for Barack Obama from the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2007 all the way into early 2011.  As Barack Obama’s “media enforcer,” he had the task of crafting the campaign and presidential narratives and fighting critics, “shaping the campaign message, responding to the 24/7 news cycle, schmoozing with the press and fighting back when he disagree[d] with its reporting.” One of the chief narratives to emerge from both was Obama’s health-care reform messaging, especially the pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” a promise Obama repeatedly made during the first campaign and all through the ObamaCare fight, and right through the ultimately disastrous midterms while Gibbs ran the messaging machine for Obama.

Over the weekend, we discovered that the White House debated whether Obama should make that pledge at all:

As President Barack Obama pushed for a new federal health law in 2009, he made a simple pledge: If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan. But behind the scenes, White House officials discussed whether that was a promise they could keep.

When the question arose, Mr. Obama’s advisers decided that the assertion was fair, interviews with more than a dozen people involved in crafting and explaining the president’s health-care plan show. …

One former senior administration official said that as the law was being crafted by the White House and lawmakers, some White House policy advisers objected to the breadth of Mr. Obama’s “keep your plan” promise. They were overruled by political aides, the former official said. The White House said it was unaware of the objections.

Apparently, so was the man most responsible for crafting and pushing Obama’s messaging, at least according to Gibbs himself.  On Morning Joe, the media enforcer says he never heard any debate over one of the key messages from the Obama campaign and White House during his tenure, but it was certainly wrong … now:

“Robert, you’re a communications guy and you were there,” said an MSNBC host this morning. “How could the president say, and there’s a clip we’ll show where he says it many, many, many, many — I remember it — ‘You can keep your plan.’ When you know that 5 percent of the people, and 5 percent is obviously a small part of the story and overall the impact if you believe in this law is better than what happens here, but it’s millions of people. You know what’s going to happen in the press. You know there’s going to be hardships for those people. Why would you let your president say that?”

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

“But do you agree it was a wrong move?”

“Oh, well, certainly,” said Gibbs. “I mean, I don’t think anybody dealing with this today finds what was said. Now, I do think some explanation in terms of the fact that policies that were in place at the point at which the president signed them were grandfathered in for this.”

Two weeks ago, Gibbs called the White House spin about not knowing of the coming debacle “unbelievable.”  So is this spin now.  Gibbs wasn’t just a communications guy — he was the communications guy.  If there was a discussion on whether to use a narrative, Gibbs would have been in on the loop, and likely would have been the deciding vote, if it wasn’t Obama himself.  Gibbs played the media enforcer for it, too. He might be backing away from it in his new role as analyst at MSNBC, but he can’t back that far away from it with any credibility.


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And today the White House is attacking the dying cancer patient…how many have to die for Dear Leader’s dream?

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

They all have “No Fault” insurance, its called the “Main Steam Media” policy and the cost is your soul.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Yep, several tried to use the same defense in the Nuremberg Trials…

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Gibbs: “We had so many lies going on, we couldn’t keep track of them all. So we weren’t about to get bogged down arguing over the details of just one of them.”

Flange on November 4, 2013 at 10:47 AM

They were overruled by political aides, the former official said. The White House said it was unaware of the objections.

Ida Know…..

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Oh come on. Gibbs lies to himself if he thinks we’ll believe him. There is zero credibility coming from the left. All of them. Voters, representatives, presidents, media. They are all dishonest to their core. That bell can’t be unrung.

DanMan on November 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

A hundred percent honesty is something that we have never expected of you dirtbags, Robert..

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

LOL. His response reminds me of this hilarious PSA.

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7Ila/ad-council-boss-vinnys-watch

Start rolling your eyes when you hear either “I do not recall…” or “I have no knowledge….”

BuckeyeSam on November 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Credibility? He worked for Obama and now the Al Sharpton Network. He never had any to begin with.

CTSherman on November 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

You lie gibbsy

cmsinaz on November 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Is it just me, or does Gibbsy look like he belongs in a special ed class?

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

Earlier than I thought. The sharks are now jumping sharks.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

And today the White House is attacking the dying cancer patient…how many have to die for Dear Leader’s dream?

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Wait, what? Did some Democrat shill actually specifically criticize the dying patient? Do you have a link?

Doomberg on November 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

A hundred percent honesty is something that we have never expected of you dirtbags, Robert..

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

To be fair, in Washington-speak, 100% honesty is actually 80% at best and usually hovers around 63%.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

“Well, look, I don’t recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this, to be a hundred percent honest with you,” said Gibbs this morning.

This is known as Parsing 101.

You can untwist this statement to reveal any sort of truth.

fogw on November 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Just for grins, I tried logging in on the Healthcare.gov site to see what happens and I had no problem entering information (fake) and getting some price quotes on health insurance.

However, what I was offered was not very appetizing.

The bare-bones minimum coverage would cost me (family of 3) about $383 per month in premiums. For this, I get no prescription drugs, no mental health coverage, and a family deductible of $20,000. So that is $24,596 total out of pocket cost.

I then changed my criteria to see what it would cost me to buy a policy that provided all of the items missing in the first scenario, and had a lower family deductible. This would have cost me $1,300 per month and my deductible was reduced to $6,000. So that is $21,600 total out of pocket cost.

I can’t opine on whether this represents an increase in my healthcare coverage costs (as I currently get my healthcare from my employer at a subsidized rate)as I do not have a comparable figure for the 2013 calendar year. I would say, however, that neither of these options are “Affordable”. Isn’t that what this law is supposed to be about, “Affordable Healthcare”?

Old Fritz on November 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Two weeks ago, Gibbs called the White House spin about not knowing of the coming debacle “unbelievable.” So is this spin now. Gibbs wasn’t just a communications guy — he was the communications guy. If there was a discussion on whether to use a narrative, Gibbs would have been in on the loop, and likely would have been the deciding vote, if it wasn’t Obama himself. Gibbs played the media enforcer for it, too. He might be backing away from it in his new role as analyst at MSNBC, but he can’t back that far away from it with any credibility.

One of the things that is being downplayed far too much is that none of those involved, from Barack Obama to Valerie to Robert to Jay to Kathleen, and more, have any credibility when it comes to the messaging and ‘selling’ of Obamacare. As the WSJ’s James Taranto noted last Friday, in any other business or case, what was done by the Administration and their apparatchiks to ‘sell’ Obamacare constitutes criminal fraud.

They knowingly lied about key aspects of the program.

The website has more security holes in it than an email from a Nigerian attorney seeking to get millions released from a bank.

And all of this is happening because they started on a false premise rooted in theory and ideology that has little relationship with reality or human nature. They simply attempted to do the same thing done before elsewhere…and not only expected different results, guaranteed different results.

The only result that counts is that none of them should have any credibility left.

Athos on November 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The “It’s easier to ask for pardon than it is for permission” excuse

onlineanalyst on November 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The WH attacks cancer patient story…

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

One former senior administration official said that as the law was being crafted by the White House and lawmakers, some White House policy advisers objected to the breadth of Mr. Obama’s “keep your plan” promise. They were overruled by political aides Valerie Jarret, the former official said.

NotCoach on November 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

The White House now says anyone upset with ObamaCare-forced changes to their health insurance are victims of unscrupulous insurance companies. Ok, that lie (as obnoxious as it is) at least isn’t killing people. But now we have ObamaCare forcing cancellation of policies and doctor-patient relationships for the sick and dying, and the administration is trying to laugh this off as a “transitory” issue. These people are dying, and Obama is the reason.

This is like a daily Benghazi-like assault on towns and families all across America, except the Democrats are playing the role of al Qaeda and the President is leading the attacks.

MTF on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Related but OT-

National civil rights leaders reacted to Democratic candidate for Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam refusing on camera to shake hands with his Republican opponent

Just how politically deaf do you have to be to do something like this. It could be that Northam just doesn’t like Jackson’s views but to be seen refusing to shake hands with a black candidate….. in Virginia….. days before the election? Just plain stupid.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Is it just me, or does Gibbsy look like he belongs in a special ed class?

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM

He has another job on television.

fogw on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The WH attacks cancer patient story…

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

That’s absolutely incredible. You should mail it to HA’s tips box (if it hasn’t been posted as a story here already). There really ought to be some sort of news headline at least about this.

Doomberg on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The WH attacks cancer patient story…

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

2016 can’t come soon enough.

NotCoach on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Oh, well, certainly,” said Gibbs.

In hindsight 1) I don’t remember but 2) I certainly agree.

The Best of Both Worlds. Utterly ZERO responsibility and recall, yet 100% certainty and agreement with “The Right Thing,” whatever that happens to be at the moment. Let me ask the media one question, what news value is someone with such poor recall, but crystal-clear opinions??

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

You can untwist this statement to reveal any sort of truth.

fogw on November 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

can’t

fogw on November 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

the administration is trying to laugh this off as a “transitory” issue. These people are dying, and Obama is the reason.

MTF on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

It is transitory. They will soon be dead. Political problem for Obama solved. And, of course, the only thing that matters here is that Obama doesn’t lose political points.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

WH attacks cancer patient from Twitchy

D-fusit on November 4, 2013 at 11:09 AM

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

From “fake, but accurate” to “unsure, but certain”.

Flange on November 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Dan Pfeiffer has no soul…the entire WH staff have no souls…the POTUS has no soul

They need to put Ezekiel Emanuel on national tv more, so the American people can see who the ObamaCare architect is…these are Dear Leader’s people.

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

the administration is trying to laugh this off as a “transitory” issue. These people are dying, and Obama is the reason.

MTF on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

It is transitory. They will soon be dead. Political problem for Obama solved. And, of course, the only thing that matters here is that Obama doesn’t lose political points.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Dead men Patients tells no tale.

D-fusit on November 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

He has another job on television.

fogw on November 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

If Gibbsy is a character on family guy, it’s gotta be Opie.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM

WhiteHouse.gov is still lying like a manic – even now.

If you like your plan you can keep it and you don’t have to change a thing due to the health care law.

faraway on November 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Earlier than I thought. The sharks are now jumping sharks.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I’ve got to say that I’m myself am not surprised – they are in as bad of a position as they could be…I can’t wait to see where we (they) are after Thanksgiving! :)

Anti-Control on November 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

*I‘m myself

Anti-Control on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

From “fake, but accurate” to “unsure, but certain”.

Flange on November 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

What better way to manage the Memory Hole than to deny any recall of The Truth?

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Obama Doesn’t Mention Obamacare When Campaigning for McAuliffe

This is how much it and obama stink.

Schadenfreude on November 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM

And then there is the company’s own justification for leaving. “The company’s plans reflect its concern that the first wave of newly insured customers under the law may be the costliest,” UHC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Helmsley told investors last October. “UnitedHealth will watch and see how the exchanges evolve and expects the first enrollees will have ‘a pent-up appetite’ for medical care. We are approaching them with some degree of caution because of that.”

Get that? The company packed its bags and dumped its beneficiaries because it wants its competitors to swallow the first wave of sicker enrollees only to re-enter the market later and profit from the healthy people who still haven’t signed up for coverage.

Entirely free from government intervention, corporations make these sorts of decisions every single day. Maneuvering your business practices to take advantage of shifting markets? That’s de rigeur (and is precisely the thing that anti-regulation actvists claim is the good thing about the free market). So why is this entirely common business practice a problem when it occurs within a more government regulated market.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Latrine-rat

Schadenfreude on November 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Watching you pathetic leftards fret about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the ChoomTitanic is schadenfreudelicious! :)

Anti-Control on November 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Now, I do think some explanation in terms of the fact that policies that were in place at the point at which the president signed them were grandfathered in for this.”

So if we believe Gibbs the grandfather clause for existing insurance policies was in the bill Congress passed in 2010, then Sebelius imposed new regulations leading to the cancellation of “grandfathered” policies.

So it was in fact Sebelius who pushed Grandpa off the cliff.

Steve Z on November 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Latrine-rat

Schadenfreude on November 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Wow!

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Graceless.

kingsjester on November 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

If you think you may belong to a cult… you might post stuff like this.

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

faraway on November 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

libfree is chanting double time this month, and he’s ready to hand out yellow patches to cancer patients.

faraway on November 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5%

Keep saying it.

Now, about that delay in the employer mandate… well, let’s not talk about that.

mankai on November 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

So you’re going even further than the White House and claiming the cancer patient is lying. Nice.

Graceless.

kingsjester on November 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

More like “scum.”

Doomberg on November 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

If you think you may belong to a cult… you might post stuff like this.

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

faraway on November 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

The problem is that cult members never think they belong to a cult.

CurtZHP on November 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Stepping over dead people to touch the hem of Dear Leader’s garments…this is getting past politics now.

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Doomberg on November 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Between this comment and the one about the WWI Vets, I would say that the perfesser gives scum a bad name.

kingsjester on November 4, 2013 at 11:30 AM

That’s WWII vets.

kingsjester on November 4, 2013 at 11:31 AM

I have evidence to the contrary: …Then We Told Them, You Can Keep Your Doctor!

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I would say if you like your brain, you can keep your brain, but you never had one to begin with. Some more brainlessness below.

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

If someone doesn’t respond to their own stupidity after 1,800+ hours are they honest brokers of discussion, or dishonest?

NotCoach on November 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The problem is that cult members never think they belong to a cult.

CurtZHP on November 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

How can anyone take them seriously at this point? They are in a death spiral over ChoomCare, and (most of them) don’t fully realize it, not yet at least…

It’s cute to watch them grasp at straws, any straw, as though they might be kept from drowning! :)

Anti-Control on November 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Sure, tell a lie that’s guaranteed to blow up in your face, no problem, do it every time. Go with something preposterous & easily checked, no problem, stand there looking like a fool for the very stupidity of it, for the nasty deceit, after all, aren’t they the clever ones, aren’t they perfect? What roaring a–holes!

arand on November 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Gibbs is a lyin’ POS…Period!

workingclass artist on November 4, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I keep picturing that scene from The Quiet Man “go away ya traitor you!”

neyney on November 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

The White House said it was unaware of the objections.

Figures. Incompetence is a hallmark of this administration.

GarandFan on November 4, 2013 at 11:48 AM

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

To your point no. But I’m sure that being a liberal progressive has a symptom of being 100% dishonest!!

Deano1952 on November 4, 2013 at 11:50 AM

And today the White House is attacking the dying cancer patient…how many have to die for Dear Leader’s dream?

d1carter on November 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

More… a lot more… think “Chairman Mao” numbers as long as the progs get their way…

The ends justify the means for the Democrat Party…

Khun Joe on November 4, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons? Didn’t realize that 100% honesty was one of the symptoms.

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

It really comes down to this. If you’re trying to beat cancer, who gets to make the medical decisions involved (including who your doctor is going to be). The patient of Barak effing Obama and his death panels.

libfreeordie says the state is in a better position to make that choice. The patient that sparked this discussion says his health plan paid out over $1M. Well, in libfreeordie’s world that is a waste of money when it could go to entitlement programs for the parasitic class that loves Obama and the radical left because they are not forced to work or otherwise contribute to society. The patient would merely be given a pill and told to go home and die.

Happy Nomad on November 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

roflmmfao

donabernathy on November 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Sometimes, it seems, the 5% is worth fighting for; other times, not so much. A cynic might say they’re really just fighting over votes and not what’s best for the country.

I tend to be cynical.

BKeyser on November 4, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Does having cancer make it impossible that you would lie for political reasons?

libfreeordie on November 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

You should ask Joe Soptic, the Obama shill who accused Romney of killing his wife with cancer during the 2012 campaign. Scroll down to the middle of the transcript for CNN’s evisceration of that lying fraud.

Sunby’s story– unlike Soptic’s lie– is easily verifiable. Unless you’re averse to evidence, or have the soul of a maggot.

de rigueur on November 4, 2013 at 12:48 PM

So, Gibby the Talking Fistula says he ‘doesn’t 100% recall’ parsing the verbiage.
He says this, while being:
a) a paid mouthpiece for CNN
b) the former paid mouthpiece for Dear Leader
c) interested in remaining a well paid mouthpiece

My; I see nothing—NOTHING–that would lend itself to Gibby ‘misspeaking’.

orangemtl on November 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM

The reliably USELESS morning shmoe failed to mention the VOTE to stop the regulatory slaughter of grandfathering rules in the US Senate in the fall of 2010.

Obama repeated the BLATANT LIE regarding people being able to keep their policies DOZENS of times AFTER that VOTE. In many of these instances he did it as a part of calling others who were pointing out the flaw as liars!

The LIAR in chief is one sick twisted piece of work.

Freddy on November 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Gibbs played the media enforcer for it, too. He might be backing away from it in his new role as analyst at MSNBC, but he can’t back that far away from it with any credibility.

As long as Gibbsy keeps backing up . . ., say, how far away is obscurity?

Oh, and I hardly think that credibility is anywhare on the radar screen at BSNBC.

dissent555 on November 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM