After the failure of the American Health Care Act, Speaker Paul Ryan and his fellow Republican leaders in the House vowed to plow ahead with repealing and replacing Obamacare. As for Donald Trump, he blamed those in his own party for Trumpcare’s downfall. Specifically the House Freedom Caucus, an ultra-conservative group of GOP lawmakers who despised certain aspects of the new healthcare bill almost as much as the Affordable Care Act. Trump, Ryan, and their allies were unable to strike a deal with the group, which led to their decision to pull the House vote.
This led to a string of tweets by Trump targeting the Freedom Caucus, both during Friday’s highly publicized decision to pull the bill’s vote and in the days since. And if Thursday’s latest tweet is any indication, the president’s ire toward the conservative consortium shows no signs of slowing down. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team,” he complained, adding that “we must fight them” and Democrats at the polls in 2018.
In other words, the current Republican president in the White House just targeted members of his own party — along with Democrats — for removal from office when the 2018 midterms roll around. Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) and his colleagues are no friends of Trump’s, apparently — resulting in a very public rift not unlike Fox News’ own civil war.
Previously, Trump highlighted the Freedom Caucus after they failed to come to an agreement with him, Ryan and other GOP leaders over Trumpcare. He argued that their refusal to sign off on the bill would allow Planned Parenthood, one of the Freedom Caucus’ most frequent targets, to continue practicing:
This led to additional tweets chastising the hard-line conservatives, as well as Club For Growth and the Heritage Foundation:
UPDATE: Paul Ryan is standing firm with Trump while he attacks members of his own party: “I understand his frustration.”
Paul Ryan on Pres. Trump’s tweet targeting conservative House members: “I understand the President’s frustration.” https://t.co/tXDBvYPtMl
— CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2017