Kathleen Sebelius' oversight of Obamacare was a "disaster," former House Speaker and 2012 GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich said Friday.
In a biting opinion piece for CNN,
Gingrich said the Health and Human Services Secretary was "right to resign" after "delivering a breakdown when a breakout was possible."
"Americans should be able to expect that people who enter high public office will see their job as a public duty and will view faithfully serving the public and administering the laws as their solemn obligation," he wrote.
What America got instead was an administrator who operated "in a secretive and extraordinarily partisan manner that frequently ignored, violated and changed the law at whim," he wrote.
Gingrich said it's one thing for the White House staff to be "arrogant, aloof, secretive and largely isolated from the Congress."
"That is the president's style," he said. "And that is his right."
Sebelius must meet a legal standard, Gingrich said.
"Her job is not defined by the president," he wrote. "It is defined by the law."
Gingrich charged there were "dozens of changes to policy" Sebelius made "without the authority to do so," including waiving welfare's work requirement and delays in the employer mandate.
"Her capricious redefinition of Obamacare will be studied for decades as a stunning betrayal of the rule of law," he wrote.
And she failed as an administrator too, he said.
"Sebelius may be the most incompetent major cabinet officer in modern times," he wrote.
"The Obamacare website disaster she oversaw is a historic case study in bureaucratic failure."
"Americans' lives, jobs and savings were at stake," he added. "... [F]rom a purely political perspective, the failure is all the more stunning because it was obvious from day one that the website would be the most public symbol of President Obama's entire presidency."
The digital mess was inexcusable, he wrote.
"The overwhelming majority of the tech community supported President Obama," he noted. "The level of expertise and experience Sebelius could have called on to help with the website was breathtaking.... But she and the president did not do that."
"Sebelius' final betrayal of the public trust ... was her fundamental dishonesty with the American people," Gingrich wrote. "She, and the administration she worked for, have done the American people a great disservice."
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