The Obama administration should "accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving" and delay healthcare reform for another year, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said. GOP leaders seized on the comment.
The "Situation Room" host made his comment during a report from correspondent Brian Todd, who was discussing failures of the government website Healthcare.gov
, which was launched to handle inquiries and sign-ups for state healthcare exchanges, The New York Times reports.
Other government websites, such as one for Social Security, function well, Blitzer said, but the government didn't get the Obamacare site ready on time.
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"Maybe fix the problem, make sure people don't have to worry about it," the longtime anchor suggested.
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Republican National Committee Reince Priebus was quick to jump on Blitzer's comment, immediately tweeting: "I agree, Wolf, Obamacare needs to be delayed," noting that he'd also agreed with CNN host Piers Morgan's comments on the Affordable Care Act earlier this week, when Morgan tweeted: "If @BarackObama spent as much time talking to @johnboehner as he is right now talking to the media, this shutdown could end today."
CNN, which says it strives for a bipartisan approach to the news, didn't comment on Blitzer's remarks or offer official clarification. But Blitzer later on Twitter said that his comments may have been taken out of context and misunderstood.
"Context matters," Blitzer said. "Earlier I said the govt shouldn’t launch a website before it works. I did not express a view about the individual mandate.”
Numerous problems have plagued the healthcare website
, and Blitzer isn't the only one complaining, as thousands have been stymied while trying to sign up for the government-mandated health-insurance program.
The Obama administration claims problems were due to an overload of Internet traffic. However, information-technology experts say the system has had difficulties confirming the identities of people registering, which causes problems when signing up for an account.
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The site, they say, also appears to have been hastily built
, with coding problems and an inadequate software foundation.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, though, insisted this week that the website is "simple and user-friendly
and the insurance coverage is affordable."
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