The perils of relying on prepared remarks. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared before a group of insurance executives today, ready to deliver a tough camera ready sound bite. But then things changed. Here’s ABC’s account:
According to the White House-provided excerpts, Sebelius was planning to say: “You can choose to take the millions of dollars you have stored away for your next round of ads to kill meaningful reform, and use them to start giving Americans some relief from their skyrocketing premiums.”
Instead, Sebelius actually said: “So there’s another choice: I hope that you will take the assets that you have, the influence, the bully pulpit that you have and use it to start calling for comprehensive reform to pass. Start looking at giving Americans some relief with market strategies from those who are facing skyrocketing premiums.”
Alas, over at Talking Points Memo, where someone apparently didn’t watch the speech, Sebelius is still saying the things she never said:
Sebelius appeared before AHIP to ask the insurance companies for their help anyway.
“You have a choice,” she said. “You can choose to continue your opposition to reform.”
Or, she said, there’s the other option. “You can choose to take the millions of dollars you have stored away for your next round of ads to kill meaningful reform, and use them to start giving Americans some relief from their skyrocketing premiums,” Sebelius said. “Instead of spending your energy attacking the parts of the President’s proposal you don’t like, you can use it to strengthen the parts you do.”
Anyone else make this error? If you find an example, feel free to paste the link in comments.
UPDATE 3/11: Wow. The Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins finds a shockingly long list of outlets missing the bus on this one, including The Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN, CBS, and Reuters. C’mon people!Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.