Tensions reach new high between Trump, GOP. Another plausible explanation for why Trump doesn’t want his own brand too closely associated with Republicanism is that he likes to have scapegoats handy if things go poorly. He will happily take credit for legislative victories and run away from defeats.
As the Senate GOP all but admits defeat in its seven-year quest to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Trump’s reaction gives credence to this theory. “I’m not going to own it,” the president told reporters in the Roosevelt Room yesterday. “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
At the time, McConnell and other GOP leaders were debating whether to set up a two- or three-year transition period to give themselves time to come up with replacement legislation.
Trump, however, put pressure on Congress to keep ObamaCare’s most popular provisions: protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and the ability of young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
He was backed up by centrists such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who said it would be better to have a detailed plan for replacing the law before repealing it.
“As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!” the president tweeted Tuesday.
Just floating the notion angered some GOP senators.
“He’s the president of the United States. These people are folks who are looking to him to help them,” said a second Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss Trump’s stance frankly.