HUGH HEWITT, HOST: Now hereâ€™s what the President said in 2009.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hereâ€™s a guarantee that Iâ€™ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If youâ€™ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.
HH: Now Clarence, you have written a few columns defending Obamacare, but you canâ€™t defend that as other than an utter untruth, can you?
CLARENCE PAGE: Oh, Obamacare is like the proverbial camel being a horse designed by committee, right? Itâ€™s gone through so many changes and all, that the original dream has been largely corrupted. And thereâ€™s no guarantee, I knew even, and Obama knew even at the time he said it, there was no guarantee everybody was going to keep their insurance, because people couldnâ€™t keep their insurance under the old system.
HH: So he knew he was lying when he lied?
CP: Iâ€™m sorry?
HH: He knew he was lying?
CP: Probably. Probably. But thatâ€™s one of those political lies, you know.
HH: Well, donâ€™t you think a lot of peopleâ€¦
CP: Itâ€™s one of those, you know, in the abstract, itâ€™s correct, but the fact isâ€¦
HH: Is it forgivable? Are you allowed to lie to get a bigger good? Is that it?
CP: Well, the question is, most people will be able to keep their own insurance policies. And that was the point he was trying to make. He was just being too grandiose and saying, and guaranteeing that everybody was going to keep their insurance.
HH: Well, I agree with you. He knew what he was doing when he did that.
HH: And is that acceptable for people to just out and out mislead the low information voters out there?
CP: He said it repeatedly in a political campaign that he won, so thatâ€™s what a political lie is all about, right?
HH: But when he said this, it was after he was already in the White House.
CP: Well, he said it on the campaign trail repeatedly.
HH: I know, but after he won, he then said it. Was that okay?
CP: Right, right. Well, whatâ€™s the difference?
HH: Well, the difference is youâ€™re the president of the United States.
CP: He made a promise to the public either way.
HH: So it doesnâ€™t bother you that he lied to us?
CP: Well, a lot of things bother me. You act like all lies are equal, right?
HH: Well, no, I justâ€¦
CP: Is that what youâ€™re saying?
HH: Does it bother you that this, on this occasionâ€¦
BO: Hereâ€™s a guarantee that Iâ€™ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If youâ€™ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.
HH: Now you just said he lied, and I agree with you he lied. But does it bother you that he did?
CP: Well, a lot of things bother me more than that, but not because of overselling his program. Every president oversells their programs. But just the fact that the whole process of putting Obamacare together disturbed me that he gave up too much early on, in my view.