October 30th, 2013
01:54 PM ET
4 years 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. truth hurts but reality bites

    Plaque on Obama's desk now reads: The Buck Used to Stop Here

    It will soon be replaced with one that says: I Don't Know Anything About Anything

    October 30, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    That's how one responds to arguments w/Fifth Graders. BIG Congressmen don't like to be treated that way-no matter what Grade level they act.

    October 30, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    It is a technical glitch–it can be fixed. GOP is so vulgar, pathetic to waste your tax dollars. First shut down now this nonsense. GOP is doomed. No fool will ever vote for GOP thugs that reflect Al Queda.

    October 30, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Warren

    "And so Harper, asked a final and third time: "It is the President's ultimate responsibility, correct?"" sounds like a witch hunt to me, and to what end? Hold the President accountable for implementing a LAW that has not gone as smooth as it should have. At the end of the day it will work. I am so glad we will have videos of how these Republicans have acted....

    October 30, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Proving, once again, that the ugliness of the hate for President Obama has raised its head at this so-called "hearing".
    Whatever any of them think of the Affordable Care Act, none has the right to be vindictive, hateful, and rude to
    someone testifying at this Committee's request.
    They can ask questions in a gentlemanly, or for that matter, ladylike manner, but noooooooo, they have to show
    their you-know-whats at every turn.
    I cut this thing off. Some were relatively cordial, but those who were not did themselves no favors by acting
    this way. I just couldn't listen to their rantings anymore.
    She apologized, which is a heck of a lot more than the American people have gotten out the obstructionists.
    I hope this thing is fixed, works well, and comes to smack the Teapublicans down in the voting booths.

    October 30, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Ol' Yeller

    Ah.... then by this guy's reasoning, it is actually God's fault, right?
    Hahahahahaha...... that guy's reasoning! A resonable House republicant!?!? Get it!? HaHAAHAHAHHAha... I crack myself up.

    October 30, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. MartinR

    No Knowledge of Fast Furious
    No Knowledge of Benghazi
    No Knowledge of Phone Taps
    No Knowledge of Reporter intimidation
    No Knowledge of Tea Party Black listing
    No Knowledge of Obama care faults

    HOW is this guy in charge?

    October 30, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. MartinR

    With a Cult like OBAMA there is no end to the people willing to fall on a sword for him.

    Not a single Democrat was able to dissent against Obama care.... not a single vote....

    At least the R's have a few people thinking for themselves.... they may be wrong but at least they are trying

    October 30, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    What a sideshow. This is no different than Issa's frivolous inquiries.

    October 30, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    You have to train your witness to say "asked and answered." Whatever indeed...Mississippi, land of confederate secessionist parties.

    October 30, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. srcactus

    Whatever, the buck stops where ever

    October 30, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Padraig

    The buck stop here sign was moved a long time ago before the US Embassy attack in Benghazi.

    October 30, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. DL

    That's a clown question, bro."

    October 30, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    Sibelius is not very good at this. Never get mad, first of all, and protect your boss, second of all.

    I don't blame her for the niggling website problems - besides, firing her solves nothing because the GOP won't confirm Obama's new nominations, anyway. But, if I were the Prez, I'd want to fire her for being such an inept spox.

    October 30, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    GOP is acting worst than cult.

    October 30, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. jon

    The GOP - whatever.

    October 30, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. jinx9to88

    The GOP have been trying to blame Obama for something since he took office, but for some reason they can't. Its hilarious to watch. They tried to pin the blame with Benghazi well no they failed, NSA well no they failed, IRS well no they failed, birth certificate well no they failed, shutdown no they failed. People do you see the trend the GOP have going for them? The biggest failure will come in 2014 when the GOP get their butt kicked at the polls.

    October 30, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. CT_Yank

    Would this make GWB ultimately responsible for the cost in lives and treasure incurred by his unfunded wars? Does this make Boehner ultimately responsible for the millions lost to our economy during the shut down? This Congressman is an idiot.

    October 30, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Padraig

    To Gurgyl. How many times did we hear the President state our health care rates will go down $2,500 in premiums when in fact he knew that it would not. How many times did the President state that everyone will have the advantage of having the same health care when he exempted himself, congress, unions, and other groups. He knew this was a lie as well. Simply put for you, is you support and blindly follow a LIAR.

    October 30, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Cookie girl

    Dear Lord, it is hilarious watching the members of this lying regime bandy the blame around!

    October 30, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Data Driven

    With a Cult like OBAMA"

    Yeah, we're a cult, Martin. We want to force conservatives to eat fresh vegetables, listen to Jay-Z records, and get health care. Gonna gitchyore guns, too.

    October 30, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. tom l

    So there was a high risk for security on healthcare.gov but they went ahead anyways. So who really cares about the private indiviudal? The answer is none of the above. Dems have just proven that they don't care about the average American at all. They care about politics.

    And repubs don't care about you or me, either.

    Data, Rudy:

    Am I still wrong?

    October 30, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Jetranger

    Its OFFICIAL, Obamacare is Done, History ! I'm done with it, not going to ever Sign up for it, they can't be TRUSTED, they've lied repeatedly, and I refuse to deal with anything as big a Sham as this is ! No more ! They Flunked big time and they deserve an F-.

    October 30, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Cookie girl

    How HUMILIATING for Comrade Obama's adorers!

    October 30, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Hector Slagg

    Well, rs,
    So you don't like Trickle Down Economics? Well everybody want's to get rich, but that takes work, for most of us. I have never had any problem with someone being sucessful in life. Some try "Occupying Wall Street. But for real advice, WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOT. But, when all else fails, Read the directions. better yet, (Now here is some real good advice), BOOK YOU OWN LIFE ! Not sure what will help you there rs, but it beats waiting for the Liberal's to do anything. positive.
    As usual, Hector, you manage to produce another babbling word salad that fails to take into account the actual fallout of what you claim you support. Conservatives painted this picture of gold showering us from heaven if we trusted them, and what did we get? Record debts, no ove sight and no admission of responsibility. None of your ideas or posts indicate any familiarity with work of any kind, just a rant of the sort we used to hear from a drunk loser uncle at a family reunion who insisted someone else pay his way. Some people when they are afraid of paying the tab, formed a Tea Party that promptly conducted purity tests on everyone to see if they were virtuous enough to be an "American". They are the ones who keep running up the tab and running from responsibility, yet they claim they are the ones upholding some vague definition of freedom: for you, its freedom from responsibility, and not assuming or admitting to the costs of what you propose, both financially or socially. Don't worry though: eventually this country will be another oligarchy like Mexico or Chile, and you can support the neo-fascist party of your choice if you have not already been purged. Personally, I think Cruz has that Mussolini-like attitude.

    October 30, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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