- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
President Donald Trump on Sunday blasted the group of conservative lawmakers and a prominent right-wing think tank that helped block his healthcare bill from passing.
In a tweet, the president explained that Democrats benefited from the House Freedom Caucus and the Heritage Foundation’s opposition to the American Health Care Act, which right-leaning members of congress refused to support because they believed it did not adequately roll back President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” Trump wrote, shortening the term “Obamacare.”
Though Trump previously needled the House Freedom Caucus on Twitter, hoping to scare members into getting behind the bill, his tweet Sunday shifted the blame. Initially when the bill failed on Friday, Trump blamed Democrats, though House leaders never made serious attempts to compromise with Democrats on the AHCA.
While the president declined to publicly shame opponents by forcing a vote, the tweet also suggested Trump would not easily forgot who was responsible for the bill’s failure.
The Daily Beast reported on Friday that chief political strategist Steve Bannon advised Trump to keep a list of lawmakers who opposed the bill for potential future retribution.
White House surrogates like chief of staff Reince Priebus also agreed with the president’s assessment of who deserved blame.
“I think the president is 100% correct, and hits the bullseye on that tweet,” Priebus said on Fox News on Sunday. “We can’t be chasing the perfect all the time. Sometimes you have to take the good, and put it in your pocket and take the win.”
He added: “I think it’s time for our folks to come together, and I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”