October 30th, 2013
01:54 PM ET
6 months ago

Frustrated Sebelius to questioner: 'Whatever'

Washington (CNN) - She had been in the congressional hot seat for two and a half hours. And many Republicans had been waiting just as long to ask her questions.

When Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Mississippi, got his chance, he pounded away at Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hard enough to elicit a rare, audible sign of frustration from her.

Sebelius blurted out a word common to exasperated teenagers and zen masters alike, "whatever."

Is it really 'illegal' for Sebelius to buy Obamacare?

It came after Harper repeatedly asked if President Barack Obama should be seen as responsible for the HealthCare.gov problems.

The first two times, Sebelius answered that she was responsible for the debacle, that it was her job.

And so Harper, asked a final and third time: "It is the President's ultimate responsibility, correct?"

Sebelius gestured toward him and the search for words found only frustration.

"You clearly, uh," (then a small pause, followed by), "whatever."

The Secretary put both her hands in the air, briefly, then resumed.

"He is the President. He is responsible for government programs," she concluded.


Filed under: Kathleen Sebelius
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. OBG

    bob stated:
    I"'d also note that, here in California, I called the Call Center, got in on the first try, waited less than 10 minutes to talk to a person, and was done with the process in 25 minutes. It really is that easy...."

    Bob is Sebelius's dad.

    Thanks Dad.

    October 30, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Joe M.

    "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    We have children in charge of this Administration.

    October 30, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Sivick

    these gop congressmen aren't doing this in good faith. they hate Obama and will do anything to make him look bad. they shut down the government trying to destroy this and oh now it doesn't work why'd that happen? maybe if you spent the last 3 years trying to help and make things better instead of trying to do everything in your power to just wreck everything to make him look bad we wouldn't be having these problems!

    October 30, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. brian

    "And many Republicans had been waiting just as long to ask her questions."

    I watched this on C-Span. Most of the Republicans didn't actually ask questions. They lectured her on how bad Democratic policy is. They did ask a few rhetorical questions that had no answer.

    October 30, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. John

    I'm not the biggest Obama fan but, c'mon... you can't hold him responsible for everything that happens. This was a major technical problem, but it's far, far below his pay grade. Blame the army of contractors and IT guys, not the president.

    October 30, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    @Rudy NYC, just ignore these Rethuglican idiots, they are paid by hourly 5/ by Koch, Rush, Sheldon. They know shut down hurt, Wars drained, Bin Laden safely kept in Pakistan, etc.

    October 30, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. CrazyIsraeli

    The Big R's are at it again! Just call 'em "Republi-stiltskins" because these guys really know how to spin straw into f***'ing gold!! Seriously, they took a non-issue related to a website and turned it into a grand hearing before Congress! Should difficulties with a website change a policy that the majority of Americans AND the Congress have agreed should be law? Of course it shouldn't, but that doesn't stop the Republi-stiltkins, weavin' weavin' weavin' at their spinnets! Gotta love 'em - I just hope we don't owe them our first-born male child!

    October 30, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. CK

    Obama is responsible to give Republicans a reason to trash the ACA but Sebelius should resign for not being on top of the implementation. You can not run a business when you have to do everything yourself.

    On the other hand, Dear Republicans who have done everything to derail progress on healthcare, what was your solution other than NO? You are still losers

    October 30, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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