During a gaggle with reporters, Trump claimed that repealing Obamacare was never his top priority, which was a clear signal that Republicans still don’t have the votes to repeal Obamacare.
Transcript provided to PoliticusUSA via the White House press pool:
Q Are you willing to work with Democrats on a bipartisan bill?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. But the Republicans have been saying for seven years, “repeal and replace,” and now they have a chance. And the funny thing is, in Arizona it’s up 116 percent. In Maine, it’s way up. In Maine, if you look at what’s going on with Maine, they get a tremendous amount of money with the grants. I mean, if you look at the — with the block grants. You look at Alaska — one of the biggest beneficiary would be Alaska, and these are the people that are against it.
Eventually, we will win on that. My primary focus, I must tell you — and has been from the beginning, as you can imagine — is taxes. I believe we will be successful in the largest tax cut in our country’s history.
Notice which states Trump mentioned. He singled out Arizona, Maine, and Alaska, or the same three Senators that killed Obamacare repeal during the last vote. Trump didn’t mention Rand Paul and Kentucky, which leads one to believe that Paul’s no vote was not serious and that he will end up voting for the legislation.
John McCain is a confirmed no vote. Susan Collins sounds like she is strongly leaning no, which leaves Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as the deciding vote. Ted Cruz has also said that he is a no vote, but is impossible to see Cruz really voting no. It could happen, but it is also something that Obamacare supporters shouldn’t count on.
Trump has been harping on repealing Obamacare for two years. He has been obsessed with repealing Obamacare, so the last minute change in tune means that Republicans still don’t have the votes.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association