The Affordable Care Act architect at the center of controversy over remarks he made last year about how the health law was passed had called the American voter “stupid” on at least one other occasion.
Jonathan Gruber, who helped craft the controversial law, was heavily criticized this week after video of him surfaced saying a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” were “really critical” in moving the landmark legislation through Congress.
[sharequote align=”right”]“The American voters are too stupid the understand the difference.”[/sharequote]
Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday, Gruber said he regretted making the comments, adding that he “was speaking off the cuff.”
Fox News host Megyn Kelly, however, didn’t appear to buy into his explanation, airing a never-before-seen video on her program where Gruber used similar language.
“The American voters are too stupid the understand the difference,” the Obamacare architect said in the 5-second clip taken in October 2013.
WATCH: Affordable Care Act architect calls American voters “stupid” (remark made around 2 minute mark):
While Gruber did apologize for his comments on Tuesday, he stressed there was a legitimate reason for designing the health law as a tax bill.
“Public policy that involves spending is typically less political palatable than policy that involves doing things through the tax code,” he said during his MSNBC appearance, contending it was “politically infeasible” to move legislation through Congress as a spending measure.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly misidentified the ACA architect as “Mark Gruber” in the headline. It has been amended to reflect that his first name is in fact Jonathan.
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