Gingrich: Trump ‘Can’t Disassociate Himself’ From O’Care Repeal Failure

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized President Trump on Thursday for lashing out against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Gingrich, an outspoken supporter of the President, said both Trump and Senate Republicans are responsible for failing to fulfill campaign promises of repealing Obamacare, calling it a “collective failure.”

“The fact is, with a very narrow margin, 52 people, Mitch McConnell got 49 out of 52. I think the President can’t disassociate himself from this. He is part of the leadership team,” Gingrich said, appearing on “Fox and Friends.” “He is not an observer sitting in the stands. He is on the field. It was a collective failure.”

The feud between Trump and McConnell began when McConnell told constituents back in Kentucky on Monday that the President had “excessive expectations” about what it takes to get legislation passed in Congress.

Trump responded on Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday, saying he thinks McConnell is wrong about his expectations and asking why “after 7 years” repealing and replacing Obamacare hasn’t happened.

Gingrich said the blame also falls on Democrats.

“To get involved in shooting at each other when there were 16 Democrats voting ‘no’ for every single Republican who voted ‘no’ is goofy. I say it is goofy,” Gingrich said.

He defended McConnell, saying he “doesn’t benefit from those remarks,” but Gingrich thinks the majority leader would probably take back his comments if he could.

Gingrich went on to criticize the way Congress has handled the overhaul of health care, which fell flat when Senate Republicans failed to get a simple majority to pass a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare last month.

“This may take three or four or five years or 10 or 12 bills. I’m not sure anybody is smart enough to write a single bill to replace Obamacare in one giant step. … I’m equally afraid they will mishandle the tax cuts exactly the way they mishandled health care. If that happens, we’ll be at the end of the year with a disaster,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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