President Obama was casual on Sunday about the role Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber had played in the creation of Obamacare, saying Gruber was “some adviser who never worked on our staff.”
Gruber has been under fire in recent days after several videos emerged of him discussing the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. In one clip, Gruber called the American people “stupid.”
Democrats have tried to distance themselves from Gruber, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi going so far as to say, “I don’t know who he is,” although a clip of her from 2009 shows the Democratic leader talking about Gruber by name.
In this newly surfaced clip from April 5, 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks warmly about Gruber, saying at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.:
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 [and] Jim Wallis here … who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice.