Gibbs: Obamacare Launch 'Excruciatingly Embarrassing'

'These were glitches that go, quite frankly, way beyond the pale of what should be expected'

October 14, 2013

Former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joined the chorus of media voices slamming Obamacare's rollout Monday on Now With Alex Wagner, calling the launch of his old boss' law "excruciatingly embarrassing."

Now an MSNBC contributor, Gibbs added the architects of the website should be fired for botching the site so badly:

ROBERT GIBBS: This is excruciatingly embarrassing for the White House and for the Department of Health and Human Services. This was bungled badly. This was not a server problem, like just too many people came to the website. This is a website architecture problem. Again, it's excruciatingly embarrassing. It's not fatal, because there are still many weeks and days to go before the enrollment period closes at the end of March. I give credit to Al Hunt in his column today, I thought he had an interesting statistic. The Massachusetts health care rollout, people came on average 18 times to the marketplace website before they signed up for insurance. This is not iTunes. I hear a great album, I'm going to go buy it, boom, I buy it, and it's a one-time easy transaction. This is health care. It's very involved. People are going to take their time with it, but boy, if they don't get these glitches figured out fast, people aren't going to come back for visits 15 through 18. I will say this. I hope they're working day and night to get this done, and when they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people who were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work. We knew there were going to be some glitches, but these were glitches that go, quite frankly, way beyond the pale of what should be expected.

Mainstream media has roundly panned the website's launch. CBS called it "nothing short of disastrous," while a web expert told CNN the site did not work at the most basic levels. It has been ripped in particular by MSNBC's Chuck Todd and Ezra Klein, as well.