Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry went head-to-head Thursday with press secretary Josh Earnest over the controversial comments made by an Affordable Care Act architect.
Summarizing the comments in which economist Jonathan Gruber openly discussed how a "lack of transparency" was used to push the landmark health law through Congress, Henry pressed the White House press secretary for an explanation.
"Didn't the president promise unprecedented transparency?" he asked Earnest. "Why would one of the architects of the law suggest that you were misleading people?"
[sharequote align="center"]"Why would one of the architects of the law suggest that you were misleading people?"[/sharequote]
"Well, I'm not sure, frankly, Ed," Earnest responded. "The fact of the matter is the process associated with writing and passing and implementing the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent."
That answer didn't appear to quell Henry.
"He was saying that some of the negative sides, you misled people," Henry said.
"Well, again, it sounds like you may have watched the video a few more times than I have," Earnest replied, adding that he wasn't "going to quibble with what he actually said."
Henry then asked if the White House felt "bad" about Gruber's comments.
"I disagree vigorously with that assessment, I think is what I would say.I think the fact of the matter is this is a — this was a very difficult undertaking, but ultimately this is a law that has had significant benefits for millions of people that have been able to sign up through the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act," Earnest replied.
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.
In another video shot in 2013, the Obamacare architect said, “The American voters are too stupid the understand the difference.” A third video of him surfaced Wednesday where he is seen discussing how to trick the American voter.
Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday, Gruber said he regretted making the comments.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter