NBC: 'In a Few Months' White House May Hold Someone Accountable for ObamaCare Failure 'If They Find Incompetency'

On Monday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted laughable Obama administration talking points regarding who was to blame for the disastrous rollout of the ObamaCare website: "...nobody in the West Wing feels that this is an administrative error, that this is a competency issue....But in a few months, if they find incompetency, I'm told nothing should be ruled out." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The segment began with anchor Brian Williams wondering: "A lot of folks in the business world say if this happened to a private company in the real world, it could be curtains for the company, curtains for the CEO. In this case, though, the CEO people are asking about pointing to would be Health and Human Services – the cabinet secretary Kathleen Sebelius." Todd replied: "Well, everything I hear in talking to the administration, her job is safe."

In fact, Todd went so far as to repeat more White House spin placing all the blame on the tech company that designed the healthcare.gov website: "That at the end of the day this was a problem, if anything, of over-promising, perhaps by the contractors that were used to build the website."

However, on Thursday's Nightly News, correspondent Tom Costello reported:

The former director of Medicaid and Medicare, now a health care analyst, says CGI was forced to deal with late design changes ordered by the government....Last June, a GAO report foreshadowed these problems, warning that the website might not be ready to go live in part because of all the last-minute design changes.

On Friday's Today, Costello noted: "The Associate Press reports this morning that even project developers doubted that the website could be ready in time, and for months they complained about unrealistic deadlines." Co-host Savannah Guthrie introduced Costello by announcing: "...we're hearing from the programmers who built that website and they say they saw red flags."


Here is a full transcript of Todd's October 21 segment:

7:04PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Let's bring in our political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd. Chuck, let's talk accountability. A lot of folks in the business world say if this happened to a private company in the real world, it could be curtains for the company, curtains for the CEO. In this case, though, the CEO people are asking about pointing to would be Health and Human Services – the cabinet secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

CHUCK TODD: Well, everything I hear in talking to the administration, her job is safe. They don't feel – nobody in the West Wing feels that this is an administrative error, that this is a competency issue. That at the end of the day this was a problem, if anything, of over-promising, perhaps by the contractors that were used to build the website.

But the other thing I'm hearing is there's such an all-hands-on-deck mentality, Brian. They know they have only weeks to get this right because it's these young people that use the web that they want to get on. And if the website is thought of as unuseable, they'll never get those young and healthy people to sign up for health care, which of course blows the entire system and then would suddenly raise the cost for everybody.

So right now, they're not interested in finding accountability. It's an all-hands-on-deck. But in a few months, if they find incompetency, I'm told nothing should be ruled out.

WILLIAMS: Chuck Todd on the White House lawn for us tonight. Chuck, thanks.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC