President Trump calls Obamacare a “big, fat, ugly lie” https://t.co/zgdnqx82CV
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 24, 2017
When Donald Trump seemingly threatened anti-Trumpcare Republican Sen. Dean Heller last week, the president also blanketed his criticism of other GOP congresspeople and Democratic opposition who wouldn’t let the slight Senate majority’s plan go forward. “Any senator who votes against starting debate,” he said, “is really telling America that you’re fine with Obamacare.” Trump then issued a sweeping rhetorical challenge calling on all of Congress to stay put in Washington until a passable bill was put in place and sent his way. Unsurprisingly, he ranted on Twitter early Saturday morning and went golfing later in the day — thereby ignoring his own decree.
Come Monday afternoon, however, the president followed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Vice President Mike Pence during a health care-centric press conference. In the last of several sporadic tweets issued earlier that morning, Trump exclaimed, “Republicans have a last chance to do the right thing on Repeal & Replace after years of talking & campaigning on it.” True to form, he reiterated similar criticisms of his own governing party during his 10-minute speech, but he also said a lot of eyebrow-raising (or erasing) lines, too.
At the very beginning of his remarks, after thanking Price and Pence for their introductions, Trump instantaneously inflamed every journalist, politico and Twitter troll watching when he implied Obamacare had been around for much longer than it actually has. “For the past 17 years, Obamacare has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hardworking Americans.” The president was evidently having trouble reading from his teleprompter, as he said “seven years” in subsequent remarks, but the damage was already done.