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Flashback: Here's What Obama Had to Say About Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber in 2006

Then-Senator Barack Obama said in 2006 that he had "stolen ideas" from Jonathan Gruber, the Affordable Care Act architect at the center of controversy for a series of remarks he made about how the landmark health law was pushed through Congress.

Speaking at the launch of the Brookings Institute's Hamilton Project, newly surfaced video shows Obama list Gruber as one of the sharpest minds in academia.

"You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles, many of them I have stolen ideas from liberally, people ranging from Robert Gordon to Austan Goolsbee; Jon Gruber; my dear friend, Jim Wallis here, who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice," Obama said.

Gruber, who helped craft the controversial law, was heavily criticized last 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.”

He has since apologized for his comments as members of the Obama administration have distanced themselves from his work.

This story has been updated.

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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