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Friends Obama denies

Thanks to the work of a citizen journalist in Philadelphia, over the past few weeks “stupid” Americans have gotten to know ObamaCare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber pretty well.

In video after video Gruber is seen admitting that ObamaCare is essentially a scam and detailing how the White House went through “tortuous” measures to manipulate language in order to get the legislation passed in 2010.

But Gruber isn’t the only one who is a master at manipulating language to fool voters. His former boss and friend President Obama is pretty good at it too.

When asked about Gruber’s role in ObamaCare and whether Americans were lied to about the impact the legislation would have on the country, Obama referred to rule No. 1 of the Obama scandal playbook: play dumb and deny.

“I just heard about this,” Obama said during a press conference overseas this week. “The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no reflection on the actual process that was run.”

He just heard about this? Some consultant? Despite Obama’s technical claims Gruber wasn’t “on staff,” he was paid more than $5 million in taxpayer money at the state and federal levels as a consultant for ObamaCare. He was praised by Sen. Harry Reid and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the go-to expert on the health-care overhaul.

Back in 2006 during a Brookings Institution event, then-Sen. Obama praised Gruber as someone he “liberally steals ideas from.” When ObamaCare was being written, Obama met with Gruber multiple times at the White House and relied on him to solve political problems by deliberately “mislabeling” the taxes and redistribution of wealth from healthy to sick in the legislation.

As predicted, ObamaCare has done incredible damage on so many levels. It has caused a major shift not only in the economy, but in the course of the country moving forward.

Unfortunately, Gruber isn’t alone in the men Obama has befriended, used to alter policy and then ditched once controversy went public. We’ve seen Obama distance himself from friends and mentors Bill Ayers, the Rev. Wright, Derrick Bell and other influential figures who have had a direct impact on American culture.

“The suggestion that Ayers was a political adviser to Obama or someone who shaped his political views is patently false,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in 2008.

“When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts what I’m about and who I am,” Obama said about Wright after sitting in his pews and listening to his anti-American, hate-filled sermons for 25 years. “It is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country.”

You get the point.

All of these people — Ayers, Bell, Wright and Gruber — have shaped Obama’s worldview and their ideas are carried into his decision-making process. The big difference this time is that Gruber has shaped the lives of every American through a massive, government-mandated program.

The bottom line is that associations matter. The people a president is influenced by and surrounds himself with matter. The impact those people, like Gruber, have on the lives of individual Americans matters because the consequences of the policies they implement are so severe.

Katie Pavlich is news editor of Townhall.com. Her exclusive Trib columns appear the first and third Fridays of each month.


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