In it, but not of it. TPM DC

GOP Senator Touts Obamacare Budget Report — Then Trashes It

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AP Photo / Rick Bowmer

"Today CBO delivered terrible news to the millions of Americans looking for work. Obamacare, the President's signature domestic policy achievement, will lead to more than 2 million fewer jobs and hurt much-needed economic growth," Hatch said in a statement, referring to the CBO statistic that upwards of 2 million Americans would leave the full-time labor force over 10 years as Obamacare makes health coverage more accessible to them without their employer.

Approached by TPM that afternoon in the Capitol, Hatch took it a step further.

"I think we're going to be lucky if that's all that's lost," he said. "It's a real big problem for this country and [Democrats] continue to want to go down the same path they're going down. I don't understand that."

Then, within seconds, Hatch turned around and attacked CBO when asked about another finding in the same report that Obamacare's risk corridors -- the provision Republicans bash as a "bailout" -- would actually save the government money.

"First of all, I don't believe that," the senator said, with a laugh. "I mean, that may be something they can conjure up in mathematics but I don't believe so. These are the guys who tried to use pension smoothing to pay for unemployment insurance for three months," he said, referring to a near-term budget savings options that has been criticized as a gimmick.

"I mean, come on, give me a break," Hatch said.