Right-Wing Media Refuses To Blame Trump For GOP Health Care Defeat 

››› ››› JARED HOLT

Republicans “abruptly” withdrew their health care bill, which signaled the first legislative defeat for President Donald Trump. After the bill's failure, media figures blamed Democrats, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), and legislators instead of  Trump who adopted and pushed for the bill’s passage.

Republican Leaders Announced Withdrawal Of GOP Healthcare Plan

Wash. Post: “House Republican Leaders Abruptly Pull Their Rewrite Of The Nation’s Health-Care Law.” The Washington Post reported that Republican leaders “abruptly pulled their overhaul of the nation’s health-care system from the House floor,” and noted that the move “leaves a major campaign promise unfulfilled” and undermines d Trump’s “image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises.” From the March 24 article:

Republican leaders abruptly pulled their overhaul of the nation’s health-care system from the House floor on Friday, a dramatic defeat for President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan that leaves a major campaign promise unfulfilled and casts doubt on the Republican Party’s ability to govern.

The decision leaves former president Barack Obama’s chief domestic achievement in place and raises questions about the GOP’s ability to advance other high-stakes priorities, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan (R-Wis.) remains without a signature accomplishment as speaker, and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward. [The Washington Post, 3/24/17]

NY Times: “Trump Blames Democrats For Republicans’ Failure To Pass Healthcare Reform Bill.” The New York Times reported President Donald Trump called the newspaper to “put the best possible face on a major defeat.” Trump told The Times that Democrats “let us down” because they did not participate in GOP health care plan adding, Democrats “now own health care.” From the March 24 article:

President Trump, trying to put the best possible face on a major defeat on Friday, dismissed the scuttled bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as a byproduct of Democratic partisanship. He predicted that Democrats would return to him to make a deal in roughly a year.

“Look, we got no Democratic votes. We got none, zero,” Mr. Trump said in a telephone interview he initiated with The New York Times. “So when you get zero from the other side — they let us down because they’re hurting the people. The good news is they now own health care, they now own Obamacare.”

He tried to minimize the deep divisions within his own party that prevented Speaker Paul D. Ryan from securing passage of the bill. [The New York Times, 3/24/17]

Right-Wing Media Figures Blamed Everyone But Trump

Trump Surrogate Jeffrey Lord Blames Speaker Ryan And “The  Legislative Body.”’ CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord blamed Speaker Paul Ryan and said that “it’s the legislative body’s fault” that Republican’s health care bill did not pass because “they’re the ones in charge of the House.” From the March 24 edition of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront:

JEFFREY LORD: This is the Republicans' fault. This is Speaker [Paul] Ryan's fault. I mean, I like Speaker Ryan, but let me give you two Speakers, Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi. The Contract for America with Newt Gingrich and Obamacare, which actually should be called Pelosicare. They were speakers of the House. They got their programs through. They got it done. Speaker Ryan, great guy, just didn't get this done. Mark is correct. They had seven years to do this. They should have had this all road tested. They should have, two days --

ERIN BURNETT (HOST): So it's not the president's fault at all?

LORD: Well, I mean, any president would have walked into this for the first time, but no, it's the legislative body's fault, absolutely. They're the ones in charge of the House. Not the president. [CNN, Erin Burnett OutFront, 3/24/17]

Fox’s Eric Bolling Blames Paul Ryan “And A Couple Chairmen Of Some Committees Who Put This Together” For Failure Of Bill. Fox News host Eric Bolling blamed the withdrawal of the Republican health care bill on House Republican leadership and “a couple chairman of some committees who put this together,” who Bolling claimed denied offers to “let conservatives get involved.” From the March 24 edition of Fox News’ The Five:

ERIC BOLLING (CO-HOST): The problem with the bill that they brought -- and this is the truth -- this is leadership bill. This is [House Speaker] Paul Ryan. This is Brady, Weldon, and McCarthy and a couple chairman of some committees who put this together. The Freedom Caucus said we want to be involved in the process, let conservatives get involved, and they said, “No. We have the votes. This is the bill we're going to present.”

They presented the bill. Trump said, “I will try and sell that bill,” and they have never had the votes, and they couldn't get the votes. So they put it on Trump, saying that they had them and they didn't. So, no, Bob [Beckel], it wasn't Trumpcare, it's still leadership-in-the-G.O.P. care. [Fox News, The Five, 3/24/17]

Breitbart: Speaker Paul Ryan “Failed To Pass” GOP Legislation Repealing Obamacare. A Breitbart.com article about the bill's withdrawal placed blame on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who Breitbart claimed “misled the public and President Donald Trump when he promised repeatedly the bill would pass. From the March 24 article:

Republican officials in Congress and the White House are now openly discussing finding a GOP replacement to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker of the House, after Ryan failed to pass the American Health Care Act out of the House and misled the public and President Donald Trump when he promised repeatedly the bill would pass. [Breitbart.com, 3/24/17]

CNN Commentator Jason Miller: “The Democrats Didn’t Come Over And So There’s A Lot That’s On Them.” Former Trump campaign advisor and CNN commentator Jason Miller told host Anderson Cooper that he blamed Democrats for the collapse of the Republican health care plan because Democrats “didn’t come over” and vote for the bill. He added that Republican leadership in the House deserved blame for being unprepared to repeal Obamacare. From the March 24 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:

ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): Jason, who do you blame for this?

JASON MILLER: I would say the president ultimately is right, the Democrats didn't come over and so there's a lot that’s on them. Hold on. Let me finish. But I think also, too, I think we need to go down the list and really call out some names here and really make it clear where this fell apart. So, Speaker Paul Ryan and House leadership, they should have been waiting there on November 9th in the wee hours when myself and the president and Kellyanne [Conway] and all the other folks were there, we found out the AP had called the race and the Speaker should have been jumping out of a celebration cake with a big Obamacare repeal and replace bill. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 3/24/17]

Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs: Nothing “Changes The Fact That The Speaker” Promised ACHA Would Pass. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs told viewers that Speaker Paul Ryan’s remarks that alluded to “growing pains” in the Republican leadership “have obviously been the Speaker’s, as he tries to grow into his job.” Dobbs said “none of it” can excuse Ryan’s promise to pass the Republican health care plan. From the March 24 edition of Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight:

LOU DOBBS (HOST): The growing pains the Speaker referred to have obviously been the Speaker’s, as he tries to grow into his job. And none of it changes the fact that the Speaker assured the president and rest of us that the Speaker had the votes time after time to pass his American Health Care Act, when obviously, he did not. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 3/24/17]

Fox’s Sean Hannity: “Let Me Be Clear Here. This Is Not President Trump’s Failure.” Fox host Sean Hannity blamed Republican House leadership for the failure of the Republican health care bill. Hannity said the defeat “is not President Trump’s failure” because Trump “did everything in his power” to help the bill pass.

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): The Republican health care bill has officially, at least for the time being, hit a dead end. Last night on this program, we told you that the reason Republicans are in this position, without a vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, is because this legislative process has been way too contentious, unorganized and disjointed. On a positive side, it's actually a bigger tent party, the Republican Party, than anyone really imagined. But the fact is, after seven long years of Republicans promising to repeal, replace Obamacare, not getting the job done is unacceptable. 

[...]

HANNITY: Speaker [Paul] Ryan is right, they did come up short and we need to make sure this never happens again. Let me be very clear here. This is not President Trump's failure. The president went above and beyond, did everything in his power to get this bill across the finish line. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/17]

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