Former President Bill Clinton was speaking out against some of the problems the Affordable Care Act have brought about, not against Obamacare itself, when he called it the "craziest thing in the world," Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, insisted Wednesday.
"He said, look, there are still some problems that we need to solve, and he was talking specifically about something Hillary has talked about on the road, which is make sure that we make insurance affordable and limit out-of-pocket costs," Podesta told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "She suggested tax relief for that."
The former president, while stumping for his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Flint, Michigan, said Obamacare is "the craziest thing in the world," as many people have seen their healthcare premiums double while having their benefits cut.
Podesta, though, said that when "you look at the context" of what Clinton said, he was commenting that "the Affordable Care Act had done a lot of good things and it now covers 20 million people.
He continued that Hillary Clinton believes that Obamacare has done some "great things," including allowing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but there is the need to build on it.
"She said that there are things that need improvement, including lowering the price of prescription drugs and protecting people from excessive out-of-pocket costs," said Podesta. "She thinks it's been a success. We need to continue it. We need to build on it. I think that's President Clinton's position as well. That's what he really believes, his colorful language notwithstanding."
Podesta on Wednesday also commented on this week's vice-presidential debate, saying that he thought Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, GOP nominee Donald Trump's running mate, was "smooth" and "sort of likeable," but he "didn't get the job done" because he didn't promote or defend Trump.
"He made kind of a little attempt on his business practices, his loss of a billion dollars, but he didn't even defend his failure to release his tax returns," said Podesta. "I think time after time he just kept shaking his head. It was sort of surprising. You couldn't tell whether he was shaking his head because he didn't believe Donald Trump could say such things or he was trying to suggest he hadn't. Of course we know he had."
Meanwhile, Clinton's running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, did come in with a "strategic mission" and he was aggressive while trying to get Pence to defend Trump, said Podesta.
"I think that what we saw was a guy who could, you know, sit back, lay back a little bit, seemed like a reasonably nice guy but didn't defend the top of the ticket," Podesta said of Pence, who he thought was "looking at 2020 instead of 2016."
"He kind of walked away," said Podesta. "He did backflips on Russia. He didn't sound at all like what Donald Trump has been saying on the campaign trail. He made a whole new policy up on Syria, which embraced Hillary Clinton's approach to what's going on in Syria."
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