Daley: ObamaCare rollout 'a big embarassment'

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said the political fallout would be substantial.

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley called the rollout of ObamaCare “a big embarrassment.”

Daley, who served as President Obama's second chief of staff, made the comments on CBS, where he is a contributor.


“It’s a big embarrassment. It will be corrected," Daley said on CBS's "This Morning." "It will take time. I think you’ll see the hearings today and next week, to some degree, turn into the typical political sideshow.

“The real question is ‘what happened here?’ and how did a program that is so vital to the country get screwed up this way at the beginning?” he added.

Contractors who built and developed HealthCare.gov, which hosts ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges, will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday about the rocky rollout.

Asked how bad the political fallout is for the White House, Daley said, “I think it’s substantial. There’s no question. The president has looked forward to the rollout of ObamaCare, and it hasn’t gone as well as he had expected or demanded.”

Daley also said Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is being held accountable because it’s held under her watch. He said he’s aware of the people calling for her to be fired.

“To me that’s like firing Captain Smith of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. It’s not going to do much right now.”

“I think she’s in a tough situation right now,” he added, “but the bottom line is they’ve got to get this working.”

Daley succeeded Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and served in that role for one year between January 2011 and 2012. Daley also served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of commerce.

Since Daley’s resignation nearly two years ago, Jack Lew, now the Treasury Secretary, has served as chief of staff, and now Denis McDonough serves in that role as Obama's closest adviser.