Press: Did Trump learn?

Press: Did Trump learn?
© Getty Images

After one of the most devastating defeats suffered by any president, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump visits Virginia golf club Dem rep: Kushner ‘lied’, should be investigated Meet Trump's new communications director MORE responded in classic fashion: He made it up.

First, he denied he’d ever promised to repeal — ObamaCare. “I never said ‘repeal and replace — ObamaCare,’ ” he told reporters in the Oval Office. “You’ve heard all my speeches. I never said ‘repeal and replace within 64 days.’ ”

In fact, according to the Daily Mail, he’s quoted 68 times promising to repeal — ObamaCare, at least four times promising to do so not within 64 days but immediately.

Second, he blamed Democrats for the fall of TrumpCare, even though they were not part of the equation at all. Everybody knew that not one House Democrat would vote to repeal —ObamaCare. That’s why Trump didn’t reach out to or schmooze with any one of them.

No, this debacle lies strictly at the feet of Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP divided over care for transgender troops Want bipartisan health reform? Make the debate honest again Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis MORE (R-Wis.). He crafted a bad plan, tried to force in through in 18 days and then couldn’t even produce enough Republican votes.

The big question is: What happens next? And the answer depends on whether Trump learned anything from his complete humiliation. Now, I’m not Robert Costa. I’m the last person Trump would call personally, so I don’t know what lessons, if any, he did learn. But I know what lessons he should have learned.

Here they are, Mr. President, three of them:

One, don’t trust Paul Ryan. He’s a weak leader. He can’t deliver. Plus, he’s the embodiment of the Washington establishment you ran against. Democrats don’t respect him. But neither do the members of his own Republican conference. On healthcare, he sold you a bill of goods. You were crazy to fall for it once. Don’t let him fool you again.

Two, don’t trust the Freedom Caucus. This is the old “Tea Party.” You must understand: They came to Washington to shut government down, not to make it work better. 

You can’t count on them to be for anything you want to do because they’re simply against everything.

Three, work with Democrats. Seriously, if you really want to get things done, don’t count on Republicans. They don’t know how to govern. And most of them don’t care. So stop smearing Democrats and reach out to them, instead. 

They’re not the “party of no.” They’re the “action party.” As a deal-maker, bring back the days, not so long ago, when Democrats and Republicans worked together to solve problems.

On many issues — jobs, infrastructure, trade, taxes, criminal justice — there are opportunities to find common ground with Democrats. 

Yes, even on healthcare. Democrats know — ObamaCare’s not perfect. They’re ready to work with you to make it better. By lowering the price of prescription drugs, for example. Or by lowering the cost of premiums and adding a Medicare -for-everybody option to help achieve your goal of universal coverage.

One last bit of advice, Mr. President: Stop tweeting. 

The novelty has worn off. Nobody pays attention anymore. It’s not very presidential. And it makes you look silly.

 

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.” The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.