MSNBC host Joe Scarborough launched into a lengthy tirade on healthcare Friday morning, slamming President Donald Trump for prioritizing healthcare overhaul above issues such as tax reform.
“This was such an obviously stupid play done by somebody, or a group of people, that didn’t know how Washington worked,” Scarborough said on “Morning Joe.”
“We said it time and time again. They could not lead with healthcare. And when they decided to lead with healthcare, why did they decide to lead with Paul Ryan’s version of healthcare? It was completely opposite of what Donald Trump promised every day on the campaign trail.”
The future of Republican leaders’ healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act, has been in flux all week, as Republicans struggle to whip votes within their own party. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have remained holdouts, arguing the AHCA does not go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
Trump used Twitter on Friday morning to attack the House Freedom Caucus, arguing that it was ironic that the group, “which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!”
Scarborough said Trump had waded into the same trap that befell President Bill Clinton when Clinton tried to push healthcare reform in the early 1990s.
“So much of this was the same mistake that … neophyte presidents make when they come into Washington,” he said. “Bill Clinton ended up getting destroyed because he went too far left.”
Scarborough said Trump should have allowed Ryan, the House speaker, to sort out the details of healthcare reform with other members of Congress first and involve himself toward the end of a deal to play “peacemaker.”
“I know this sounds cold – they said, ‘Well we’ve been promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for six years.’ Well guess what? That’s their problem,” he said. “That’s not the president of the United States’ problem.”