Trump blames everyone but himself for failure of GOP healthcare legislation
President’s targets include conservatives, Democrats and a possible veiled jab at Paul Ryan as Republican hand-wringing over repeal-and-replace failure continues
Donald Trump sought on Sunday to spread blame for the failure of his first attempt at passing major legislation, the replacement of Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
As internecine squabbling continued in the Republican party, the president’s targets included conservatives in Congress, Democrats and, possibly, House speaker Paul Ryan.
On Twitter on Sunday morning, Trump wrote: “Democrats are smiling in DC that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & O[bama]care.”
He was referring to the advocacy group Club for Growth, as well as the Heritage Foundation thinktank and likely its advocacy offshoot Heritage Action for America, all conservative groups with influence on the members of the Freedom Caucus.
That hard-right House group’s withdrawal of support along with some Republican moderates caused Ryan and Trump to pull the health bill before a vote on Friday.
Provocatively, Trump lumped such groups together with congressional Democrats and mentioned Planned Parenthood, a federally funded provider of women’s healthcare services that is a lightning rod for anti-abortion groups.
Debate also continued about whether Trump or members of his administration had orchestrated an unusual attack on Ryan on Saturday, despite professions of unity from both the White House and the House speaker’s camp. Trump and Ryan spoke by phone for an hour on Saturday.
In the morning, the president used Twitter to tell the public to watch a show on Fox News at 9pm, Judge Jeanine.
The former judge, prosecutor, district attorney and Republican political candidate from New York Jeanine Ferris Pirro then opened her show by saying: “Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the House … He failed to deliver the votes.”
Trump’s senior adviser, Steve Bannon, is a former publisher of the hard-right website Breitbart, which has been harshly critical of Ryan.
Mick Mulvaney, formerly a member of the Freedom Caucus and now Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, denied any move against the speaker.
“Never once have I seen him blame Paul Ryan,” Mulvaney said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “The people who are to blame are the people who would not vote yes.”
Mulvaney was one of the leading officials lobbying House Republicans to pass the bill, which was pulled less than an hour before lawmakers were due to vote.
“We haven’t been able to change Washington in the first 65 days,” Mulvaney said. “I know the Freedom Caucus. I helped found it. I never thought it would come to Trump blames everyone but himself for failure of GOP healthcare legislation | US news | The Guardian: