Chairman Issa needles Gruber: 'Are you stupid?'

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) blunt style of questioning was on full display Tuesday as he tangled with ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber.

"Mr. Gruber, are you stupid?" Issa asked, quoting the famous line from Forrest Gump. "Does MIT employ stupid people?"


"I don't think so," replied Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. "Not to my knowledge."

The exchange was one of several tense moments in the hearing as Republicans grilled Gruber over his comments that the "stupidity of the American voter" and a "lack of transparency" aided ObamaCare's passage.

Gruber repeatedly apologized, saying his remarks were "glib," "insensitive" and "downright insulting."

The hearing is expected to be one of Issa's last as Oversight Committee chairman.

The California Republican was relishing the opportunity to question Gruber and a top federal health official, Marilyn Tavenner, who were seated together on the witness panel.

"We believe this is a perfect pairing," he said, "a pairing of individuals who are responsible for what we know and don't know [about ObamaCare]."