Behar and Huffington Post's Sekoff Paint GOP as Trying to 'Ruin' and 'Destroy' Health Care
On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, when host Behar asked, referring to House Republicans, "Are they going to ruin health care?" guest Roy Sekoff - founding editor of the Huffington Post - referred to a repeal of Obamacare as "destroy[ing] health care." Moments later, he also claimed that Obamacare "will actually lower the debt," and accused Republicans of being hypocritical for wanting to repeal it:
JOY BEHAR: Let's talk about what they're going to try and do. Are they going to try and destroy everything Obama has done so far? The approval rating is up over 50 percent on Obama again. What are they going to try to do? Are they going to ruin health care?
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, yeah, you know, first thing out of the gate, they're going to try to, you know, destroy health care and try to repeal it ... And, of course, they're always talking about how concerned they are about debt. And we know that that bill will actually lower the debt. So, a little bit of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
As the two discussed White House advisor David Axelrod and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's upcoming departure from the White House, Sekoff joked about the possibility of Behar following the lead of Tony Snow and moving from cable news to White House press secretary, leading the HLN host to assert that "I would do it any day," before making making her latest admission that "I love President Obama":
SEKOFF: As far as who's going to replace it, Joy, remember Bush ended up getting Tony Snow over from Fox? So, Joy, do I see an opening? I know you're very busy, but maybe a third job for you?
BEHAR: Oh, I would do it any day. I love President Obama.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, January 5, Joy Behar Show on HLN:
JOY BEHAR: John Boehner was sworn in today as Speaker of the House as the 112th Congress officially convened. There were no tears except for me, although outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi did get a kiss. Didn't they do that in the Godfather? Here to discuss this as well as what we can expect from our new Congress is Roy Sekoff, founding editor of the Huffington Post. Hey, Roy, how are you? Listen, I heard that Boehner got choked up and no crying. Were you surprised? I thought he would be hysterical?
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTON POST: Yeah, I was a little bit, you know, because he was the valedictorian at the "Glenn Beck School of Public Weeping," so I was expecting a few more waterworks there. You know what I wasn't expecting, Joy, was that moment when Nancy Pelosi handed him that oversized gavel and kind of made a joke that was a little bit of double entendre. It was a little bit strange. It was kind of like an old episode of Sonny and Cher. You know, wow, that's an awful big gavel you have there. Oh, you know, it's not the size of your gavel, it's how you bang it. You know, it was weird. It was really strange.
BEHAR: Let's talk about what they're going to try and do. Are they going to try and destroy everything Obama has done so far? The approval rating is up over 50 percent on Obama again. What are they going to try to do? Are they going to ruin health care?
SEKOFF: Well, yeah, you know, first thing out of the gate, they're going to try to, you know, destroy health care and try to repeal it, and it's not going to work, so it's just pure theater, a pure waste of time because, you know, the Democrats still control the Senate, Obama still has the veto pen. But, yet, that's the first thing they're going to do is make this big, you know, presentation of we're going to roll back what they call the job-killing health care bill. And, of course, they're always talking about how concerned they are about debt. And we know that that bill will actually lower the debt. So, a little bit of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
BEHAR: Also, I don't think that their base or their constituency is going to be thrilled to hear that they're going to roll back, you know, pre-existing conditions which are now covered; the fact that you can keep a 26-year-old kid on the health plan. I think people like that, don't you?
SEKOFF: There's no question, there's parts of this health care bill that people love. And, you know, that's the point. And it's never going to happen, Joy. It's just pure fantasy.
BEHAR: Okay, what about Nancy Pelosi? Now, Nancy is now the House Minority Leader. What do we see next from her? What can she do?
SEKOFF: You know, she's shown that she's a really tough legislator, and she knows how to, you know, move bills through and things like that. I mean, the last two years were very, very productive. Obviously, she's in a much weaker position now that she's the minority leader. But I think we're going to see, you know, feistiness and an attempt to find some reconciliation. The question is, are the Republicans who have spent the last two years just saying no - that's the only thing they've done - are they finally going to put forward their own agenda? Are they going to put forward the Boehner agenda? And when that happens, maybe we'll be able to see some compromise. I hope so.
BEHAR: I don't think that they can blame Nancy for everything anymore. They're going to have to start blaming Boehner now, it sounds like. She can't be the scapegoat anymore.
SEKOFF: Well, exactly. Once you take power, now it's on you.
BEHAR: Okay, now, what about Robert Gibbs? I hear that he`s leaving the post. So who's going to be the press secretary?
SEKOFF: Well, you know, Joy, it's interesting. I mean, what this says about the Obama White House is that they are getting very, very serious about him being re-elected. You know, David Axelrod left - and he's going to work on the campaign - and now Gibbs is leaving, and he's going to work on the campaign. So what this is saying is, let's bring the battle-hardened pros and have them focus on the campaign. So that's what they're saying there. As far as who's going to replace it, Joy, remember Bush ended up getting Tony Snow over from Fox?
SEKOFF: So, Joy, do I see an opening? I know you're very busy, but maybe a third job for you?
BEHAR: Oh, I would do it any day. I love President Obama.
SEKOFF: Oh, I'd love to see you handling the press, Joy.
BEHAR: I'll smack them.
SEKOFF: That's what I'm saying.
BEHAR: All right, thank you again, Roy, for always coming through for me. Thanks very much.
- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center