Rep. Trey Gowdy Grills Jonathan Gruber: "Is Not Being A Politician Your Defense?"

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REP. TREY GOWDY (R-South Carolina): You know what, professor, I have listened to you talk all morning about your lack of political acumen, that you're not a politician, so therefore you don't know not to call people stupid. Most of the people watching this morning aren't politicians and they know not to call people stupid.

And I can't help but note, Professor Gruber, another one of your quotes which I'll read to you: "That was politically in-feasible." Do you remember saying that?

JONATHAN GRUBER: Yes.

GOWDY: So, you do like to factor in the politics from time to time, don't you? And also happen to note, Professor Gruber, that usually you insult the American voter, not the American public. So you do factor in politics, don't you?

GRUBER: I have tried on a number of occasions pretended I know more about politics --

GOWDY: Do you think not being a politician is a defense? Is that your defense this morning? I know initially you said you offered these comments at a conference. I think you meant conferences, plural, but you said conference when you went on a very obscure television show and initially apologized for what you said were inappropriate comments. Today your defense is that you're not a politician. Is that the best can you come up with?

GRUBER: The best i can come up with is just to apologize for an inexcusable --

GOWDY: I mean, the pervasiveness of your quotes is so much, that it has to be more than that. It has to be more than just an episodic mistake that you made.

Let me keep going. See if this helps you any. What did you mean when you said you wish had you been able to be transparent, but you'd rather have the law than not?

GRUBER: Once again, it was my trying to conjecture about a political process in which i'm not an expert.

GOWDY: What did you mean when you said it was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO didn't score the mandates as a tax?

GRUBER: Again, it was using inappropriate language to sound impressive to my colleagues.

GOWDY: You see a trend developing here, Professor Gruber?

GRUBER: I don't understand the question.

GOWDY: It's a lot of stupid quotes you've made. that's the trend.

GRUBER: A lot of inexcusable quotes.

GOWDY: Right. and, again, your defense is that you're not a politician. The lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Well, what does a non-politician doing talking about political advantages?

GRUBER: A non-politician is talking about political advantages to make himself seem smarter --

GOWDY: You're a professor at MIT and you're worried about not looking smart enough?

GRUBER: Yes.

GOWDY: Okay. well, you succeeded, if that was your goal. Now, I want to ask you, are you sorry?

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