Despite his recent claim that Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was just “some adviser who never worked on our staff,” President Obama said in 2006 that he had “stolen ideas” from Gruber “liberally.”
Then U.S. Senator Obama made reference to Gruber while giving a speech at the Brookings Institute, a D.C.-based liberal think tank, on April 5, 2006.
“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,” he said (emphasis added.)
Obama has been attempting to distance himself from Gruber this past week after the MIT professor famously said the “stupidity of the American voter” was key to getting Obamacare passed, which he helped develop.
But Gruber also revealed in 2012 that while he was developing key parts of Obamacare, the president asked him how the administration could disguise nightmarish facts about it from the American public.
“…The problem is it’s a political nightmare, and people say ‘no, you can’t tax my benefits,’ so what we did a lot in that room was think a lot about well how could we make this work?” He said about his meeting with Obama.”And [Obama] is really a realistic guy. He was like, ‘look, I can’t just do this.’”
“He said ‘it’s just not going to happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phase-ins and other things?’ And we talked about it. He was just very interested in that topic.”