Cuccinelli: Obama should fire Sebelius
October 21st, 2013
11:42 AM ET
5 years ago

Cuccinelli: Obama should fire Sebelius

Updated 10/21/2013 at 5:37pm

Washington (CNN) - Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia joined a host of other Republicans calling for President Barack Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the rocky enrollment process for Obamacare.

"If President Obama is serious about cleaning up the mess he's created, he'll immediately fire Secretary Sebelius and call on Congress to pass legislation to delay the individual mandate," Cuccinelli said at a campaign event Monday, according to prepared remarks.

In 2010, Cuccinelli became the first state attorney general to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law. The Supreme Court upheld the law in a ruling last year.

Virginia governor candidate blasts Obamacare in GOP weekly address

In recent days however, Cuccinelli seemed to back away slightly in his criticism of Obamacare during the partial government shutdown, calling it "the law of the land" and asking members of Congress to pass a short-term spending bill that would bring the shutdown to an end.

But he added at the time: "It doesn't mean that it's all done and we are set and over with it...They don't even know how they are going to implement it. We are learning a lot as we go here."

Fact Check: Obamacare

During the event, Cuccinelli was ambivalent on the vote last week to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. "I don't know whether I would have voted for it," he said.

State and national Democrats pounced on that statement.

"Ken Cuccinelli's clear opposition to the bipartisan agreement that reopened the federal government confirms what voters have learned: he will always stand up for his extreme, Tea Party ideology over the needs of the people of Virginia," Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Colm O'Comartun said in a statement.

With a little more than two weeks before Election Day, Cuccinelli finds himself behind in the polls to his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe.

The president on Monday addressed the technical problems associated with the Obamacare website, where people have had trouble applying for insurance on the state exchanges since they opened up on October 1.

Obama acknowledged that "hasn't worked as smoothly as is it was supposed to work," but added that "thousands of people are signing up and saving money as we speak."

Sebelius was called to testify by a congressional committee in the GOP-controlled House this week about the website debacles, but Sebelius' staff said she would be unavailable on Thursday, the date of the hearing.

But the Senate's No. 2 Democrat said Sunday Sebelius will likely testify at some point.

“Ultimately, Secretary Sebelius will testify,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Former Obama spokesman: Fire those who botched Obamacare website

Obama's administration said over the weekend nearly half a million people have applied for health insurance this month, and they've vowed to fix the technical issues on

"I think there is no one more frustrated than the President at the difficulty in the website," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." The Department of Health and Human Services "has got plans to fix this, and they have to fix this. It has to be done right."

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Paul Steinhauser, Tom Cohen, Laura Koran, and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Ken Cuccinelli • Virginia
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thanks for the input, now go away.

    October 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. MC

    If firing people for incompetence is the way to go how does Ken still have a job after taking all those bribes?

    October 21, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    In 2010, Cuccinelli became the first state attorney general to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law. The Supreme Court upheld the law in a ruling last year.
    It was the case that Cuccinelli filed that SCOTUS had ruled on last year. He was most careful about where he filed the case. He had filed in a court where there would be as few liberal judges in the pathway of higher courts to the SCOTUS. The judge in the court where the case was initially filed was also a close associate of Cuccinelli's.

    If he had any savvy, he'd shut up about the health care law and focus on Virginia. Leave the national politics to the national politicians. But, no-oooo. The legal battle against the ACA is his baby. He wants to keep hit alive.

    October 21, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Moderate Sean

    This is supposedly "good advise" coming from a candidate who is behind in the polls and losing support from even within his own party within the State. This man is scary!

    October 21, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Bill

    Ok, Bub. Come November 5, you will have to start working for a living.

    October 21, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "If firing people for incompetence is the way to go how does Ken still have a job after taking all those bribes?"


    October 21, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    I am sooooo sorry, but I can't stop laughing.
    Just because your party gives some air time to spew forth their gibberish doesn't mean you should do it, worse yet, continue do not think for a nano send that you are relevant.
    This from the private jet, island mansions, va ginal probe, women should stay with their abusive husbands and one of the AGs who brought the ACA case to the SCOTUS and lost!
    Really and truly LMAO

    October 21, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. EDDIE

    The Cuch needs to concetrate on paying back all those "gifts" he got from his donors. And refrain from giving anyone advise.

    October 21, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Did Va. opt for a State web site? Or did he & the current Gov. opt for the Fall Back That will tell you who wants to help their State Citizens commit the Mortal Sin of trying to get Health Insurance & who wants try & "Make Obamacre his WATERLOO ".

    October 21, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Right. And maybe you should have "fired" yourself as the Board of Elections legal advisor before purging voters
    who might vote against you as Governor.

    October 21, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    Fire Obama. You can't take a 100 year pipe dream off shelf and put it on Web Site. now it's down to real work. But Liberal's too lazy to make work so big plan fiddle out. Sorry, back to Salt mines.

    October 21, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    So, as usual, because problems exist, conservatives scream bloody murder and then encourage us to ignore the problem. So much energy wasted over wanting to do nothing.

    October 21, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    in a few weeks after you lose the election NO ONE WILL CARE what you have to say. So to not delay the it

    October 21, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Vince

    Isn't he about to lose an election in VA?

    October 21, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Data Driven


    Fire Obama."

    No! He was elected to serve till January 2017! You just sit there and stew in it, guy.

    October 21, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    That would be an understatement.

    October 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Ken Cuccinelli should read Green Eggs An Ham , Ted Curz did and it un enlightened him and his base !

    October 21, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. rs

    Sure, Mr. Cuccinelli, we should listen to crackpots like the GOP because....?

    October 21, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. A Kickin' Donkey

    So let's get this straight Cooche is a lawyer and he recommended suing because Obamacare was "Unconstitutional". The Supreme Court ruled it CONSTITUTIONAL. So in the field where he's supposed to be the expert, has shown himself to be incompetent. Does Cooch want the ACA to work flawlessly? Is that what is behind his push to have the HHS secretary fired? No, its not. He is not genuinely concerned about Americans healthcare; who is he trying to fool? The same can be said for the House Commerce committee that wants to hold hearings.

    October 21, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    So, will he set up an exchange if elected? Is that what's he's saying, or is he in the usual state of denial about health insurance the righties seem to be in?

    October 21, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Tony

    The government shutdown was a bigger disaster than Obamacare for Republicans. Is any Republican getting fired?

    October 21, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. MaryM

    Cucch, YOU are the one that will be fired soon. Bye Bye to you and McDonnell

    October 21, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. w l jones

    It appearing some people have gotten fired even before they are hired by the people. Old Virginia home of late Senator Byrd bless his family.

    October 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Ron -IN

    Secretary Sibelius needs to be held accountable in finding out what went wrong. I am pretty sure she is not an expert at setting up a website but she should be able to explain the how's, who's, and why's this launch was such a mess. She also has to, find out how long it will take to correct the mistakes and frankly determine if the corrections should be made at no-cost to the government. After all of this information is gathered, and if it appears she "dropped the ball', she should then be removed from the position.

    October 21, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Justjean

    Any GOP person who complains that something they hate isn't working is being disengenuous. They love this tech disfunction and are using it to smear the reputation of the law. Fortunately people will still enroll given the chance, because being uninsured is just plain costly.

    October 21, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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