October 30th, 2013
01:54 PM ET
5 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. Sniffit

    "she repeated that correct assertion a number of times"

    Unfortunately, when the ones in control of the hearing are the ones who want to "badger" the witness, you're left with nobody to object to that the question was "asked and answered." Sooo, Mississippi Pisspot got his little moment of tirade in the spotlight. Whoopy.

    October 30, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. nwcommenter

    The GOP is going after her completely unrespectfully and asking such asanine questions... unreal.. The GOP should be ashamed of itself.

    October 30, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Steve

    Uh...jinx...I believe we're talking about Obamacare?????? Also, wasn't Obama in the White House in 2010...or, was that someone else?

    October 30, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. nwcommenter

    The GOP asked derogatory, demeaning stupid questions.... and at the same time being pompous and arrogant.... The GOP should be ashamed of itself...

    October 30, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. cc423

    @A True Conservative. Are you serious? Liberals "attack and demean"? You really are not paying attention to the elected officials on your side of the aisle, are you? Why here in GA, the State Insurance Commissioner is on record saying that he will do everything he can to keep people from signing up for the ACA in our State and he does not care if that means people go without health insurance. And you think liberals are irrational? WOW.

    October 30, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Marky

    Must be tough for Obama right now because he can't pin this one on George W. That has been his company line during his whole administration for anything that goes wrong. Well Barack, this was your brain child, time to man up and take responsibility for any problems that crop up. Stop sending these lemmings in to take the fall for you. And for any Dems thinking the Republicans look bad in all of this I have 2 words for you...NANCY PELOSI!

    October 30, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. davehhds

    Most of the Republicans in Washington and all the Tea Partiers Suck It Big Time....like a bunch of whining crybabies with hidden agendas ! ! Juvenile logic ! ! Why not have discussion and prove you care about America instead of jumping on the Cruzmobile? That vehicle is going to break down soon in the middle of nowhere and then what are you going to do ! ?

    October 30, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. rs

    So, just supposing on Oct. 1 when the Republicans shutdown the federal government, someone in HHS or the White House decided "you know we better delay this website a week, 2 weeks, a month until the bugs are gone", what would the GOP have done?

    Yeah, see, no difference. The GOP still thinks the web site problem is the same as the ACA- which it isn't. They're just playing political games and acting tough in the hearings....

    October 30, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Rusty Krus

    More political grandstanding for no reason other than to appease their ignorant "base".

    October 30, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair


    No fool will ever vote for GOP thugs
    You're correct. The Democratic party pretty much has a monopoly on fool voters.

    October 30, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. smith

    This debacle known as the ACA is going to really hurt the dems in 2014. Maybe the GOP should be happy about the ACA. When 65% of the country don`t like a proposed law its not wise to cram it through congress and sign it into law.

    October 30, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. rc

    How dare they ask any questions. We should be glad the President passed the law to begin with and that he even bothered to make a website. And just because it cost $600m and was the crowning achievement of his administration, why should he be hedl accountable?

    October 30, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    People's State wrote:

    ... The Washington Times wrote of this:

    “Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny.”
    That's part of an op-ed piece. That means it is someone's opinion, which not necessarily based in truth. Notice the hyperbole.

    October 30, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -A True Conservative

    Wow – whatever – a bit dismissive coming from an appointee to an elected member of Congress, don't you think? Good to see DataDriven still posting – now I'm convinced he is posting from the White House basement!
    If he's posting from the WH basement, I'm sure he found your old notes on how to dodge WMD questions and downplay the importance of deficits as per Dick Cheney. Remember how dismissive Cheney was towards anyone who disagreed with him, especially duing the Medicare Part D rollout? The Right's selective amnesia at work, yet again.

    October 30, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    Can someone answer a question for me please?

    Say Ms. Sebellus says, it's my fault, I oversaw everything and steps down. Would the ACA just go away? Here I thought it was a law. I didn't know throwing itch fits got laws repealed.

    October 30, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "right, just like laws should be based on the truth and not a pack of lies.

    When did this become a conversation about the myth of pervasive voter fraud and all the voter suppression laws the GOP/Teatrolls have been enacting across the country to solve a problem that doesn't even exist?

    October 30, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Ajax

    Just goes to show. If you're compelled to talk to those monkeys, bring a lawyer so he can ask at least three of them that I can remember....."At long last, have you no decency, sir?"

    October 30, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. dnokc

    You've been lied to repeatedly, yet blindly follow. No wonder he keeps putting you on food stamps. You're to stupid to hold a job.

    October 30, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. ST

    GOP is totally useless. They tried almost 50 times to repeal, including defund ACA "Obamacare" with vain. Now without shame they are pretending to love it ask why the website didn't work!!! Shame on them if they think all of us are stupid and can be played around.

    October 30, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. paineintheneck

    The GOP should be ashamed of itself for questioning the competence of Dear Leader or his apparatchiks. How dare they!

    October 30, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine


    Uh...jinx...I believe we're talking about Obamacare?????? Also, wasn't Obama in the White House in 2010...or, was that someone else?
    No it was the TP " laser-like focus" on the economy, and jobs they promised they would creat that jinx commented on, and the GOP's failure to deliver on anything it promised when they took control of the House in the 2010 elections. Did you somehow forget that?

    October 30, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. bob

    This is a complex issue, with bits of truth (and lots of hyperbole) all over the place. One thing I know is this: in 2014 I will save $5,112 on healthcare coverage ($426/mon). That's without any subsidy, and I'm not poor either. That sounds pretty good to me.

    October 30, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Government Waste Rules

    $1 billion well spent! Another victory for the Obama administration, the hopiest, changiest government we've ever endured!

    October 30, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. thinking outside the box

    Izzy Malloy
    Witch hunt? What ObamaCare is really going to do is stick you with insurance options you don't want (like lactate services young man and pediatric medicine old lady).

    What are you smoking? That's how insurance plans are already set up. When I was younger and single my health insurance covered female specific services as well as male specific services. It covered elderly services and adolescent services. You typically would not get an alacarte option for insurance. That's what happens when you sell a product meant to cover a wide range of consumer needs.

    October 30, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. pjm

    You just have to admire the people that President Obama appoints. I look at GWB appointees (Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell for example) and, well crap, now I'm just sad for my future. Thank God I don't have children...

    October 30, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6