White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday he wasn’t sure NBC News reporter Chuck Todd was the best person to assess the computer problems that have plagued the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Carney and Todd exchanged jabs at the White House daily press briefing, beginning when Todd asked who “misled” President Obama into thinking that the rollout and website launch would be smooth.
Carney said Obama was “frustrated” with the problems, which he suggested were a byproduct of higher-than-expected web traffic.
“There’s no question,” Carney said, “that the volumes exceeded substantially the expectations and that the testing that was done was based on —”
“If this were a volume issue,” Todd interrupted, “adding a server would have fixed it in a heartbeat. That isn’t the issue, right?”
“Well, I’m pretty confident … you haven’t written code in your day,” Carney shot back.
Todd acknowledged that he’s not a “computer science guy” but still wondered why, if the administration were dealing with “simply a traffic issue,” it would be so difficult to fix.
“As I said earlier, the volume far exceeded expectations and that the volume both created problems because of how large it was and exposed other problems and glitches and kinks with the system that are being addressed,” Carney said. “You’re not going to get an argument from here that this has not been frustrating. The President himself made that clear.”