President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration didn’t make a “hard sell” with the Affordable Care Act, and didn’t have “billions of dollars” to spend on advertising “like some critics did.”
“We didn’t make a hard sell,” Obama said. “We didn’t have billions of dollars of commercials like some critics did. But what we said was, ‘Look for yourself, see if it’s good for your family.’ And a whole lot of people decided it was.”
The statement so enraged Glenn Beck on his radio program Wednesday that he turned off his microphone to get through the 16-second audio without shouting.
As Beck sees it, the Obama administration spent an incalculable amount of taxpayer money on everything from commercials to interviews to celebrity endorsements. And because of the influence of the United States government, he added, the administration was granted access and air time that would be completely cost-prohibitive for anyone else.
“I couldn’t pay to get on Ellen; the Koch brothers couldn’t pay to get on Ellen and get her to do a nice interview,” Beck said. “You couldn’t pay for Rachael Ray. You couldn’t pay for this program. You couldn’t pay for the NBA. You couldn’t pay for ESPN. You couldn’t pay for those things. They wouldn’t sell it! How much did that cost if you could fix a price to it?”
While the precise budget for Obamacare outreach is as unclear as the number of people who have enrolled, the Associated Press reports that the nation is estimated to have spent at least $684 million on publicity, marketing and advertising for the president’s signature legislation between July and October of 2013 alone.
Beck claimed the president often stutters or takes lengthy pauses when he knows he is saying something of questionable veracity, and said his speech on Tuesday was yet another example.
“He knows it’s such a freaking lie, he can’t even get through it!” Beck’s co-host Pat Gray added, listening to the audio. “And yet he does.”
Beck concluded by asking why “we wasting our lives” by listening to such people.
“We have the worst people in our country running our country, on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “And they’re lying to us. They’re sociopaths. And the media must be sociopathic, as well, because they have no conscience. They can report [statements] as fact, and they can sleep at night! I have things I’m supposed to do and it’s not wasting my life talking about these people.”
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This post has been updated.