Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

The White House
October 22, 2013

Remarks by the president to prove he's not as clueless about his own signature bill as he appeared to be yesterday

11:44 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, thank you for coming back to the Rose Garden this morning.

Yesterday I advised people who were having trouble getting through at healthcare.gov to apply for coverage at one of our call centers. Turns out I was a little ahead of myself: most callers were directed by an automated message to create an account at the dysfunctional website.

Well, that problem has been addressed since yesterday, as I am going to show you right now.

[pulls out cell phone, begins dialing]

It’s on speaker.


: Si?

OBAMA: Healthcare Help Center? I want to apply for a plan.

OPERATOR: No hablo Inglés.

OBAMA: Never mind. [hangs up] Got one of our dedicated foreign language centers. I’ll try again. [dials]


OBAMA: Uh, that’s not right, either. One more time. [dials]

OPERATOR: Yeah, Healthcare Help.

OBAMA: Ah, finally. May I ask you to assist me in setting up an account?

OPERATOR: Sure, sure. I’ll need your name, your bank’s name, the amount in your checking account, your mother’s maiden name, and your password.

[loudspeaker in background: ´´Yard time’s over. Everybody back to your cells. Chop chop.´´]

Uh, look, I gotta go. Gimme your number. I’ll call you back.

OBAMA: [hangs up] Darn glitches. Once more. [dials]

OPERATOR: Whatchu want, man?

PRESIDENT: Um, to sign up for the Affordable Care Act?

OPERATOR: I c’n hep wid dat. But you want insurance, I gotta register you to vote here in Philly first.

OBAMA: Um, but I . . .

OPERATOR: Look, you doan even hafta be in town. We’ll make sure your vote counts. Now, what’s your name?

[dial tone]

JAY CARNEY: Mr. President, Mr. President. The call centers have just been taken down for maintenance.

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