OUCH! Remind me to never get on the bad side of Maria Bartiromo. After watching Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber wither during her incisive interview Tuesday on Fox News' Mornings With Maria one could almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
What riled up Bartiromo was Gruber's smug assertion of no job losses due to Obamacare despite Bartiromo citing business executives telling her the opposite. After Gruber brushed her off for supposedly relying on anecdotes rather than hard data, the fireworks began as we shall see.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Businesses are not hiring workers because the legislation is too expensive. We can agree or disagree but that is a fact and that is what business say when they come on this program. So the question becomes, how do you make this legislation less expensive?
JONATHAN GRUBER: Maria, look once again, please don't use the word "facts" because you're not saying facts. You're saying anecdotes.
BARTIROMO: I’ll tell you what is a fact. A fact is economic growth is 2% or lower and the fact is, one of the reasons that economic growth is as low as it is, is because businesses are not hiring workers and not doing activity because of the cost of Obamacare. That is a fact. Do you dispute economic growth?
GRUBER: Economic growth is as rapid as it’s been in eight year. We’re coming out of recession and Obamacare is irrelevant to economic growth. Please, there is no evidence at all, you are totally making a non-facts-based argument. There is no evidence at all that Obamacare has anything to do with economic growth.
And then Bartiromo did the cruelest thing possible to poor Gruber. She played back a video of his own words.
BARTIROMO: Jonathan, it is very hard to believe you after what you said after this law first came out that Americans are stupid and that you needed a stupid public to get this law through. In fact, let's roll that bite. Listen to this, Jonathan. Here's what you said a few years ago.
GRUBER (on tape): Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever but basically that was really really critical to get the thing to pass.
BARTIROMO: So we're stupid and that's why you were able to pass this legislation through?
GRUBER: Maria, I deeply regret those comments which were taken out of context.
BARTIROMO: What's out of context? We just heard you say it? What is out of context about what you said?
GRUBER: What is out of context is that I was at an academic conference conjecturing about something I shouldn't have been conjecturing about. I made a mistake. I shouldn't have said that. That doesn't excuse your denying true facts. You're making up facts, Maria. You made up the fact that Obamacare has caused job loss. There is no evidence.
BARTIROMO: All I need are 10 CEOs to come on this show and tell me that’s the reason and then it becomes fact.
GRUBER: Who cares if some CEO comes on the show and tells you that’s the reason? Look at the data.
BARTIROMO: I don’t need data when I have the CEO telling me, ‘I’m not adding workers because of the cost of Obamacare.’ That is my data. I just spoke to the boss and he gave me the reason.
This heated back and forth continued for several minutes until the grand finale:
BARTIROMO: We want to have people who are actually getting affected by the law. Not someone in their ivory tower telling us what this should be but in fact what people are seeing on the ground because they are the ones being affected by the law. That's fact. Talking to CEOs. And talking to the managers of businesses, Jonathan. Not somebody who is just looking at a bunch of numbers on the Kaiser website.
Exit question: Will Jonathan Gruber need Obamacare to cover his expenses for all the blood he left on the floor during the interview?