Trump tweets about Freedom Caucus: 'We must fight them, & Dems'

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, generally kept a low profile Thursday, but he told the Washington Examiner's editorial board that Trump is "not being well-served" by some of his advisers.

"It didn't take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump", responded Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Twitter.

Trump said in recent days he was disappointed that the House Freedom Caucus - a group of conservative Republicans - blocked healthcare legislation that the NY businessman-turned-president had wanted to pass through Congress. I've been saying for a while that President Trump is not really a traditional Republican. Some members of the Freedom Caucus are demanding an immediate, straight-up repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or at least of its taxes and spending, which is unrealistic.

With no Democrats backing the bill, Republicans could only lose about 20 votes, so House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Trump made a decision to pull the bill Friday afternoon instead of see it defeated on the floor. "But if this Republican Congress allows the ideal to be the enemy of the good, I worry we'll push the president into working with the Democrats".

He tweeted a couple jabs over the weekend and on Monday, and on Thursday he threatened Freedom Caucus members in the 2018 election.

"In my district, we're very conservative so If he gets me out of office, he's going to get someone more conservative than me", DesJarlais said.

He went on to imply that someone was giving the president the false narrative that blame fell to the House Freedom Caucus, before offering his counsel to bring everyone together in the spirit of compromise.

Shea Cox, a 21-year-old computer science major from Shelbyville, Tennessee, said the bill failed because Ryan rushed what Cox called a "complete hack job" that "looked nearly exactly like "Obamacare" with a couple of things taken out". It's hard to imagine a less effective pitch to a group that has long accused Republican leaders of trying to coerce conservatives into falling in line against their principles.

Ryan was asked about Trump's tweet at a press conference Thursday.

Some observers said the GOP was good at pointing out what was wrong with Washington when a Democrat was at the helm, and that the party needs to learn to govern better.

Meadows told CIBO members Friday the main problem with the plan backed by Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan was that it would not have lowered insurance premiums. But what is especially vexing for the party leadership is that holding the White House typically unites a party, as was largely the case for Democrats under eight years of President Obama. There's no repeal bill on the table, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won't consider one for some time.

"I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us", Ryan said.

Ryan's statements also contradicted Trump's insistence that he is the one with leverage, because Obamacare will "explode", and Democrats will come running to him in desperation.

  • Larry Hoffman