President Donald Trump is signaling a new willingness to work with Democrats just days after blaming them for Trumpcare’s disastrous defeat in Congress, according to numerous reports.
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
While the president still poked at the opposition party via his Twitter account on Sunday — saying that “Democrats are smiling in D.C.” over the failure of the American Health Care Act on Friday — White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said it was time for Republicans to get their act together and indicated the Trump administration was open dealing with Democrats, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“This president is not going to be a partisan president,” said Priebus.
“I think it’s time for our folks to come together, and I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”
With a deeply fractured Republican Party, the sentiment that Donald Trump needs the Democrats is growing. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said as much in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
“You cannot have major changes in major programs affecting things like health care without including Democrats from the very beginning.”
However, it still isn’t clear what approach Trump will take with Obamacare. The president could bring Democrats in to help make administrative changes to the bill, as the comments from Priebus indicate could happen. Or he could do as he threatened on Twitter and wait for Obamacare to “explode.”
ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
As for the Democrats, in an interview on ABC’s This Week (via the Huffington Post), Democratic N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer said his party might be willing to work with the White House, but it will take a new approach from Donald Trump.
“The president campaigned as a populist against the Democratic and Republican establishments,” Schumer said.
“He ran as a defender of the middle class. The minute he got into office, maybe led by Vice President [Mike] Pence or some of the others, he moved so far to the hard right that it’s virtually impossible for us to work with him.”
“If he changes, he could have a different presidency. But he’s going to have to tell the Freedom Caucus and the hard-right special wealthy interests who are dominating his presidency… he can’t work with them, and we’ll certainly look at his proposals.”
However, as the New York Times points out, Democrats are in no hurry to play nice. With Donald Trump’s approval numbers below 40 percent and the spectacular failure of the GOP’s attempt to take down Obamacare, the Democrats feel they have a shot at picking up Congressional seats in the 2018 midterm election. Being too helpful to the White House at this stage could hurt their chances. And, for once, the Democrats are unified in their efforts.
“You certainly saw the power of united Democratic resistance to the Trump agenda on Friday,” said Senator Christopher Murphy, D-Conn. “There’s no way you can explain the failure of that bill without the story of a united Democratic and progressive resistance.”
According to Democratic strategist Brian Fallon, helping Donald Trump now is not in the Democrats’ interest.
“Having tasted victory, the resistance forces will feel even more empowered to insist that Democrats continue withholding any cooperation and not granting Trump any victories when he is so wounded,” said Fallon.
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[Featured Image by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images]