The White House decision to extend the deadline
for open enrollment in Obamacare to mid-April is more proof that the entire program is a debacle, says Pat Buchanan, two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
"It testifies even further, if further testimony were needed, that this is perhaps the worst rollout of any major program in American political history. The people who put it together had no idea what they were doing. It really is a gathering disaster that reflects not only on the administration itself, but on its philosophy, the idea that government has the answers to America's problems," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Wednesday.
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"What this has done, it has clearly discredited Barack Obama as an executive and as a leader and his administration. It is a wholesale indictment of their incompetence. But more importantly is the point it indicts the entire idea. The great idea of the Democratic Party of American liberalism is in the really big problems in America, the way to solve them is with major government programs brought together by political figures of the left and the center," he said.
"That idea has been discredited, I think, for a decade, if not a generation. I cannot see another Hillarycare or Obamacare or program of that magnitude even being attempted by the federal government before the next decade in this country. Politically, it is almost a mortal blow to the reputation of the president of the United States."
Buchanan was a senior adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996.
Asked if he thought administration officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and presidential adviser Dan Pfeiffer, lied when they said there would be no delays in the healthcare exchange enrollment, Buchanan responded, "I don't know that they were lying, that they were deliberately saying something was false. The truth is, they don't know all the problems in this program.
"Kathleen Sebelius, she's been wrong again and again and again. I don't understand why she is still in her job. I don't think she knows how many problems are inside this thing because I don't think she knew anymore about it than Nancy Pelosi, who said we've got to pass it to find out what's in it. What's happening is one of these explosions after another goes off, they don't know what else is out there in the minefield, and so they give us assurances as we walk forward."
As for his take on Russia's annexation of Crimea, Buchanan called it a strategic response by President Vladimir Putin to the overthrow of the Ukrainian regime rather than a sign of future aggression.
"This is not some long, premeditated takeover of Crimea.... He saw Ukraine being reoriented back toward Europe and away from Russia. He said at that point, we may have lost them politically, diplomatically, economically, but I cannot lose my strategic base on the Black Sea, the Sevastopol base, home of the Black Sea fleet, and he ordered his forces inside Crimea already in their bases, get off your uniforms, and put on neutral uniforms, and go out, and we are going to take Crimea back for Russia," he said.
"But Putin is not enormously strengthened by this other than diplomatically and politically at home, but he doesn't have a single base now that he didn't have or is in any greater strategic position against the United States. I don't think he wants a second Cold War so much as he wants really to make himself, if you will, the man who brought most or all of the Russian peoples home to Russia and who is the protector of the Russian people.
"I don't think he wants to control Poland or East Germany or Romania or Bulgaria ever again. They were too expensive, and that's why we won the Cold War, or one of the reasons we won it," Buchanan added.
He also rejected the notion that Putin has his sights set on Moldova, despite military exercises in the breakaway region of Transnistria.
"I cannot believe he's going to try to take over Moldova. I find that very hard to believe that he might want to move Transnistria to Russia as well. That's possible, but the Moldovans are not Russians, they are much more Romanian, and again, I would be totally surprised," Buchanan said.
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