On CNN Friday morning, TheBlaze's Will Cain ripped the network and others who are lecturing Republicans to stop repealing the law and start fixing it.
"The truth is this, ObamaCare was a house built upon sand. Republicans said it was for years. And now, and now that the sand is melting away from underneath this thing, it's amazing how many times we have to hear, "why don't you help fix it? Come pour a real foundation,'" he insisted. On the previous day, CNN's John Berman had implied that Republicans should help fix the law instead of trying to do away with it.
The Daily Beast's John Avlon – also a CNN political analyst – declared that Republicans should have helped craft the law, and should still help repair it despite not one GOP member of Congress voting for it.
"The idea behind it was there should have been some bi-partisan support from the beginning. And if there wasn't support because of the politicized atmosphere of being anti-Obama, there should be in terms of fixing it," he stated.
And anchor Carol Costello lamented that despite Republican criticisms of ObamaCare millions are still uninsured:
"Yeah but this 'we told you so' – there's are still 40 million people without insurance!" she exclaimed. Cain responded, "You know what's funny, we're adding to those rolls right now, Carol. We're adding to those rolls."
Costello also blamed Cain for "confusing" the public, which led to this exchange:
COSTELLO: And frankly the politicians and political analysts really aren't making things any clearer for people. They're just confusing them.
CAIN: Yeah, we are.
COSTELLO: No, you're not.
CAIN: Then you're not listening.
Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on November 15 on CNN Newsroom at 10:11 a.m. EDT:
CAROL COSTELLO: Now, a little bit of perspective. I know you've heard the President's insurance fix may drive up premiums. But keep in mind we're talking about something like 12 to 14 million Americans who have policies on the individual market, some of which may not meet ObamaCare requirements. 85 percent of you already have insurance, mostly through your employers. And for those people, for all of you, nothing will change because the rates have been locked in for this year. But you won't hear much of that in the debate to come. It will all be about politics. John Avlon and Will Cain are here to talk about that. Welcome to you both.
WILL CAIN: Good morning to you.
CAROL COSTELLO: Good morning.
JOHN AVLON: Good to see you, Carol.
COSTELLO: In watching President Obama yesterday, it was extraordinary to hear him admit to so many failures, to say I'm a human being, I made mistakes, I'm sorry. I didn't know the rollout was going to be this bad because nobody told me. All of those are disturbing things for Americans to hear, so you have to wonder, Will, how damaged the President is over this.
WILL CAIN: He's completely damaged, Carol, because his credibility has been shot. And I have to say, it's not true that he didn't know these things were going to happen, that it's a fumbled rollout. Of course when it comes to the website, it is. But the current controversy at least, the focus of much of the current controversy, the people losing their plans, they knew that was going to happen. It was by design. The plan was for those people to like the offerings on ObamaCare so much that they would forget about the fact he said if you like your plan, you can keep it. There was never an intention for that statement to be true.
COSTELLO: Do you believe that, John?
JOHN AVLON: No. What happened is the law got changed. Originally there was a grandfather clause in place, and then the devil being in the details, especially when lobbyists start writing let regulations, these things have a magical way of disappearing. But you said let's start this with perspective, and I think that's important. Perspective is the thing we have the least of in politics, Carol. There is a second term curse in presidencies. Inevitably, they're hobbled. People are asking whether this Obama is Katrina. The parallel doesn't really work. But the idea that his credibility is completely shot over what is undoubtedly a screwed up rollout of the signature plan, doesn't really hold water. What matters is how he pivots to facts on the ground. Changing facts on the ground will require a new strategy, and that's why the President went out yesterday. It's necessary politically, it's necessary in practical terms. And people are saying that it's all over, let's call the Obama administration over. I think, frankly, they're projecting their own partisan and philosophical desires on the conversation a lot more than dealing with reality.
COSTELLO: But wouldn't it send a message to the American people if he – I mean I always harp on this. Why doesn't he fire someone over this? Apologies are great. Taking all the blame is great. But don't you you have to find someone who is responsible for this mess and fire them? Wouldn't that give the President more credibility, Will?
CAIN: That would require firing himself. We keep giving him the assumption that this was –
COSTELLO: Oh, come on, it would not.
CAIN: We keep granting the assumption that this was a mistake. Now when it comes to the website, certainly there were mistakes made. And Major Garrett asked him the question the other day when did you know? Did you not know? And he said two weeks ahead of time, I didn't. That's very, very implausible. Very difficult to believe. But if you understand the policy of this program, you understand that it was intended for people to be kicked off their current insurance so they would go into the exchanges. And Carol for context, you started out by suggesting for 85 percent of people they continue their employer-based plans. Shall we not forget that less than a year from now, the employer mandate kicks in. And you don't think employer plans are going to change? You don't think people that were told if you like your plan you can keep it will now see their employer plans change? Get ready for this all to happen again on a larger scale one year from now.
COSTELLO: Well see, that's the thing. Because there's so many things we don't know. And frankly the politicians and political analysts really aren't making things any clearer for people. They're just confusing them.
CAIN: Yeah, we are.
COSTELLO: No, you're not.
CAIN: Then you're not listening.
AVLON: Hopefully we're helping cut through some of the spin. You're not going to get a lot of truth-telling in Washington because everyone has got their own agenda. And that often gets ahead of truth-telling. Will actually told the truth a second ago, when he fantasized that in his perfect world President Obama would fire himself over this screw up. Look, I think a lot of Republicans, let's be completely honest, they're not interested in solving the problem of the ObamaCare rollout. What they're pretending is a cure is a thinly-veiled attempt to kill it. They really do want ObamaCare to be ended and they want the President to no longer to be president. And when that's the agenda you entered this conversation with, you're not actually invested in solving the problem. And that's the problem we're having in Washington today.
COSTELLO: And Will, House Speaker John Boehner said as much yesterday that ObamaCare should go away. Also, if the insurance industry says that the President's fix will raise premiums, you would have to assume that this bill that's now on the floor of the House will also raise premiums. So why don't anyone care about that?
CAIN: The Republican plan, I will be clear with you, is not a fix to ObamaCare. John is correct. It undercuts ObamaCare. By the way, so does the President's. This fake fix we heard about yesterday, this magical fix, would also raise premiums, creating a messed-up risk pool. So it wasn't real either. They're both trying to disavow themselves of this political grenade that is if you like your plan you can keep it. The Republicans just want to distance from it. The truth is this, ObamaCare was a house built upon sand. Republicans said it was for years. And now, and now that the sand is melting away from underneath this thing, it's amazing how many times we have to hear, "why don't you help fix it? Come pour a real foundation." We told you this was flawed. It's beginning to fail and it will continue to fail.
COSTELLO: Yeah but this "we told you so" – there's are still 40 million people without insurance!
CAIN: You know what's funny, we're adding to those rolls right now, Carol. We're adding to those rolls.
AVLON: Will, I mean, first of all, let's not I live in a fantasy land where health care as it exists in America today is perfect and it's only being screwed up by ObamaCare. Everyone knows that's not true. Second thing is, you talk about Republicans warning about ObamaCare. No doubt they've been unified in opposition. But let's not forget that this was, of course, a Republican plan. This was the Republican plan going back to the Republican alternative to HillaryCare, proposed by Heritage Foundation and implemented by Mitt Romney. The idea behind it was there should have been some bi-partisan support from the beginning. And if there wasn't support because of the politicized atmosphere of being anti-Obama, there should be in terms of fixing it. And if Republicans are going to get serious about making political hay, they have an obligation to propose something different to solve the problem. The absence of a – if they want to repeal it, fine. But they never get to replace. And until they do that, they're not going to be taken seriously on this issue. They can't say they really care about people more than the politics of it.
COSTELLO: And may I just end this debate by saying the President's approval rating is 39 percent and Congress' is 9 percent? So there you have it. And there's a reason for that.