Following the devastating setback of failing to get health care reform passed, President Donald Trump blamed Democrats and said his administration will now wait for Obamacare to “explode” in order to reach a bipartisan deal.
“With no Democrats on board, we couldn’t quite get there, we’re just a very small number of votes short,” said Trump.
The president made it clear he not only blames Democrats for the failure of the legislation, but also that Democrats will be responsible when Obamacare self-destructs.
Trump specifically called out House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as the “losers” coming out of Friday’s non-vote.
“Now they own Obamacare,” said Trump. “This is not a Republican health care bill. This is not anything but a Democrat health care.”
Repealing and replacing Obamacare was a cornerstone promise of Trump’s presidential campaign, and coming up short on that promise is perhaps the biggest blow the new administration has faced thus far.
But Trump was defiant when speaking with reporters on Friday. When asked about future plans for Obamacare the president argued he “never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days.” He continued,”I have a long time.”
Trump did, however, promise to repeal and replace Obamacare within the first 100 days of his presidency.
The president also revealed he’s open to revisiting health care once Democrats “become civilized and get together and try to work out a great health care bill.” He implied that once his predecessor’s signature health care bill “explodes,” Democrats will be more inclined to come to the table and work out a new bill.
Regarding what’s next, Trump already has his eyes set on working toward another campaign promise: tax reform. “I would say that we will probably start going very, very strongly for the big tax cuts and tax reform. That will be next,” said the president.
Trump sold himself during the 2016 election as the businessman ready to make deals in Washington — but Friday’s failure could damage that image ahead of what’s most likely to be rigorous tax reform negotiations.