WASHINGTON — During President Barack Obama's news conference Friday, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked how he feels about his claim — that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" — being selected as PolitiFact's 2013 Lie of the Year.
But he didn't really answer the question.
"Since we've been looking back at the year," Calmes said, "I'd like to ask you what your reaction was to the nonpartisan truth-telling group PolitiFact when it said that the Lie of the Year was your statement that, 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.' " At that point, Calmes proceeded to add more to her question, asking whether Senate Democrats were getting "a little rambunctious," including a push by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to consider a sanctions bill on Iran in January, contrary to the White House's wishes.
Obama drew chuckles when he said, "Jackie, I've got to say you're stringing a bunch of things along here. Let's see if we can hone in on a question."
After the hubbub died down, Obama said, "How about I separate out the Iran question from the health care question?"
He continued, "On the health care question, look, I think I've answered several times — this is a new iteration of it, but (the) bottom line is that, you know, we are going to continue to work every single day to make sure that implementation of the health care law and the website and all elements of it, including the grandfather clause, work better every single day.
"And, as I said in previous press conferences, you know, we're going to make mistakes, and we're going to have problems. But my intentions have been clear throughout, which is, I just want to help as many people as possible feel secure and make sure that they don't go broke when they get sick. And we're going to just keep on doing that."