Wasserman Schultz Says Nevada Governor Didn't Implement an Obamacare Exchange; But He Did

July 26th, 2014 11:58 AM

It seems that Democratic National Committee chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz has herself programmed to automatically criticize any Republican governor in the U.S. for refusing to implement a state Obamacare exchange.

Wasserman Schultz made that contention on Tuesday about Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. She did so on Nevada's "Ralston Reports," a TV program hosted by Jon Ralston, whose bio indicates that he is "a contributing editor at Politico Magazine" and that he has appeared "on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS." There's only one problem: Nevada tried to set up an Obamacare exchange, but decided to "scrap its crippled Obamacare exchange and join the federal HealthCare.gov for at least a year." Video and a transcript follow the jump.


Transcript (absent annoying crosstalk, which I will address after the transcript):

JON RALSTON: I think most Americans looking at this, Congresswoman, think this law is shaky. It's a mess. You are one of the strongest supporters of this law. You have to be worried.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Actually, I think ultimately when the Supreme Court decides this, because obviously with dueling rulings and competing rulings that's what's going to happen, it's going to be very clear that the unanimous ruling by the Fourth Circuit is the right one. The reason it's the right one is Just take a state like Nevada, where you have a governor who refused to implement a state exchange and as a result people who get Affordable Care Act healthcare plans are getting them on the federal exchange.

RALTSON: Hang on. Let me just stop you for a second, because you’re misinformed about that. Brian Sandoval put in a state exchange. He did. So, whoever briefed you on that is wrong. He did put in a state exchange. He was the first Republican governor to do that.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: OK. That’s not even the point I’m making. I stand corrected. I’m not from Nevada.

The point Wasserman Schultz was making was about mean GOP governors like Sandoval who wouldn't implement state exchanges. Since Sandoval did, though unsuccessfully, she ended up not having a point.

Ralston was far too indulgent, and in my view gave away where his sympathies lie. As seen in the transcript, he helps her by blaming "whoever briefed you." What if nobody briefed her, Jon? And since when is blaming your handlers an acceptable excuse?

In the crosstalk near the end of the video, Ralston actually says "You can pivot from that." Huh? How do you "pivot" from an obviously false statement? To use the implied sports analogy, she's already committed a violation by traveling into an area about which she is ignorant, and she should hand the ball over to someone who is informed.

When Wasserman Schultz says, "I'm not from Nevada," Ralston was right there to say "No, I know, that's why I'm saying, it's not your fault" (the final word is partially cut off, but that's what Ralston appears to have said).

Excuse me, but, reinforcing a point made at Eagle Rising by Onan Coca, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee should know these things before she starts spouting off about them. If she really wasn't ready with state-specific facts, she shouldn't have ventured into what Nevada does or doesn't have.

The press wouldn't let an error like this made by a Republican when talking about a Democrat or a state governed by a Democrat slide. But according to a Google News search on "Wasserman Schultz Nevada" (not in quotes, sorted by date), the DNC chair's whopper has only garnered the attention of about 15 overwhelmingly center-right blogs and outlets. About the only exception at the time of the search was at Politifact, which gave Wasserman Schultz a break by reviewing all of her assertions during the Ralston interview and rating them "Mostly False." Wasserman's core contention about Nevada is obviously totally false.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.