President Donald Trump on Friday laid the House’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare at the feet of congressional Democrats, none of whom supported the plan that collapsed Friday.
“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare,” Trump said during an Oval Office news conference.
“They own it. Hundred percent own it. And this is not a Republican healthcare, this is not anything but a Democrat healthcare and they have Obamacare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future,” he said, admitting “both parties can do better.”
However, Trump praised House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for his “very, very hard” work, and also called the recalcitrant House Freedom Caucus “friends of mine.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 24, 2017
However, he also noted, “We learned about loyalty, we learned a lot about the vote-getting process.”
Trump said that although there were not enough votes for passage, “We were very close. It was a very, very tight margin.”
Trump was philosophical about the setback.
“Perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today,” Trump said.
Although Trump pushed hard for passage, he reminded reporters that he never said “repeal and replace within 64 days” while campaigning.
Trump: “I’ve been saying for over a year and a half let Obamacare explode”
Exactly. Democrats lose. They own it 100%
— 🎙Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) March 24, 2017
“I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode,” Trump said. “It is exploding right now.”
Trump said that once Obamacare has wreaked more havoc, there could be bipartisan support for a “truly great health care bill.”
In the meantime, Trump said he had work to do.
“Now we’re gonna go for tax reform,” he said. “Which I’ve always liked.”