To his credit, Barack Obama agreed to a very rare interview with an unsympathetic journalist Sunday, sitting down with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly just prior to the Super Bowl kickoff.
In typical fashion, though, the dialogue devolved into an exercise in blame and conjecture on the part of Obama. He responded to an inquiry regarding the ongoing IRS scandal by suggesting O’Reilly and his network are the real culprits.
“I mean these kinds of things keep surfacing,” he said, “in part because you and your TV station will promote them.”
While he ultimately conceded that “some bone-headed decisions” were made at low levels of the agency, he denied that there was “even a smidgen of corruption.”
O’Reilly also asked about the bungled rollout of ObamaCare and its enrollment website, HealthCare.gov.
“We all anticipated there would be glitches,” Obama explained, though he said he doesn’t think “anybody anticipated the degree of problems” associated with the site’s implementation.
Obama attempted to change the subject when the host directly asked why he refused to fire Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius in the aftermath of the botched rollout.
“My main priority is making sure it delivers for the American people,” he said.
O’Reilly interjected that Obama is “not holding her accountable,” prompting the president to further equivocate.
“When we’re midstream,” he said, “we want to make sure our main focus is how do we make this thing work so people are able to sign up.”
Obama refused to admit his false assertion that Americans would be able to keep their insurance constituted his biggest error, concluding O’Reilly has “a long list of my mistakes in my presidency.”
Obama also used the interview as an opportunity to shift blame away from the administration regarding the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
“We revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time,” he claimed, suggesting he jumped to action by addressing security concerns that led to the violent outbreak.
“The key,” he said, “is that we’ve implemented the reforms that have been recommended.”
O’Reilly asked many of the questions millions of Americans have wanted answers to for years. Unfortunately, Obama was characteristically derisive and obstructive, providing little resolution regarding his administration’s numerous scandals.
–B. Christopher Agee
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