The former White House press secretary called it an embarrassment. The current press secretary, asked about his predecessor's comments, said the administration is trying really hard.
White House press secretary Jay Carney briefs reporters at the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP)
President Barack Obama's first White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, now an MSNBC pundit, said Monday that the problems with the Obamacare website is not just a glitch but an embarrassment for the administration.
“I hope they are working day and night to get this done and when they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work,” Gibbs said.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Carney about Gibbs' comment and about other calls for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be fired.
“The secretary does still have the full confidence of the president,” Carney said. “She, like everyone else in this effort is focused on our number one priority, which is implementation of the Affordable Care Act. People are working 24/7 to address the problems and isolate them and fix them when it comes to the website and enrollment issues.”
“The fact is, the president wants these matters addressed because he wants to make sure Americans across the country have the best possible consumer experience as they look at their options and the plans available to them and see the fact that for so many of them there is affordable health insurance out there that was never there before,” Carney continued. “I think it's important to note even amid this early enrollment process, and even though there have been challenges with the website, there are Americans across the country who are through call centers, websites and through the states getting access to this information and seeing what choices are available to them and enrolling if they are ready to enroll.”
When talking about the Obamacare enrollment problems on MSNBC Monday, Gibbs was not sparring in his criticism.
"Let's just say this is excruciatingly embarrassing for the White House and for the Department of Health and Human Services. This was bungled badly,” Gibbs said. “This was not a server problem, like, right, just too many people came to the website. This is a website architecture problem.
"I think it is, again, excruciatingly embarrassing. It's not fatal, because there are still many weeks and days to go before the enrollment period closes at the end of March.