Jonathan Gruber is apologizing for being -- in his words -- ``inexcusably arrogant.''

He was answering to a House panel today for saying that ``the stupidity of the American voter'' helped bring about the passage of the health care law. He'd also been captured on video saying that a ``lack of transparency'' helped pass the legislation without any Republican support.

Gruber, an MIT economist, told lawmakers today that he'd been talking about things that were beyond his expertise. He said he had exaggerated his expertise to make himself look smarter -- and to look like a ``political expert,'' which he says he's not.

Democrats tried to limit the damage at today's hearing, but they acknowledged that Gruber had given Republicans a political gift by making those comments.

Gruber told the panel that he was not the ``architect'' of the law, as some press accounts claimed. But Republican committee chairman Darrell Issa of California called Gruber a crucial player in the legislation.

He and other Republicans sarcastically praised Gruber for ``telling the truth'' in his 2012 and 2013 remarks, while also hammering his efforts today to walk them back.