This morning while John Kasich went live on CNN to slam Democrats and Republicans over the Better Care Reconciliation Act’s effects on poor people, President Trump’s visage appeared on a taped Fox and Friends segment. In the above clip, he admitted to making a closed-door remark — which was leaked and never confirmed by the White House — about how he found the bill to be “mean.” It was a word that was later used by many Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, who wrote a long essay about the bill’s “fundamental meanness” and how it acted as a “massive transfer of wealth.” Naturally, Trump had to point out that he used the word first:
“Well, he used my term, ‘mean.’ That was my term because I want to see — and I speak from the heart — that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.”
So because Trump has to draw a line in the sand and claim territory wherever possible, he’s confirmed something that the White House and GOP senators won’t be pleased to see. And the effect is almost comical, given that five GOP senators have now publicly confirmed that they won’t vote for the legislation in its current incarnation, largely because it makes such sweeping cuts to Medicaid. That portion of the bill led to an immediate skirmish on Capitol Hill that ended in protesters being dragged away from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, which is not a good look.
Of course, there’s some self-preservation at work in Trump’s remarks. He wants people to “like” the plan (although he realizes that they won’t “love” it) because any Obamacare replacement plan won’t be able to pass if more than two GOP senators vote against it. The assumption that all Dems will vote against it is a safe one (since none of them have publicly supported it), and with so much Republican opposition, Trump might be unconsciously backing away from this fight.
And he would be wise to do so. His administration still hasn’t made progress on his biggest campaign promises (other than pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord) — the Wall may never happen, his travel bans have failed, and even the jobs deals are falling apart — and Trump must be nervous that this upcoming healthcare vote could end like the last one. If that happens, there’s almost no way the GOP could realistically hope to pass an Obamacare replacement before the midterm elections.
(Via Fox News)