Trump attacks GOP’s Freedom Caucus
After failure to overhaul Obamacare, president has gone from blaming Democrats tomembers of his own party.
washington » President Donald Trump trained his fire on members of his own partyThursday, declaring in the aftermath of the Republicans’ failed health care push that the conservative Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire GOP agenda. He vowed to “fight them” in 2018 if they don’t get behind him.
The early- morning tweet from Trump highlighted the growing schism in aRepublican Party that controls the White House and both branches ofCongress yet appears to be teetering on the precipice of a civil war. Republicans plunged into a blame game over the demise of the years- long push to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation, with members sniping at each other over howmuch they canwork with Democrats— or even the White House.
Trump’s anger at the FreedomCaucus for posing as a stubborn impediment to his governing runs the risk of alienating the conservative base that fueled his rise during last year’s Republican primaries and has to this point remained loyal to the president.
With his poll numbers falling and his plans to move onto tax reform and a robust infrastructure program imperiled, Trump took to Twitter to attack the conservative group that many in the White House hold responsible for sabotaging last week’s health care vote.
“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” Trump said.
Hours later, he went a step further and singled out three members of the Freedom Caucus — Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and its chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina — in a series of tweets. He said that if they “would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts& reform.”
The tweet was the latest step in Trump’s apparent evolution from blaming Democrats to members of his own party for the biggest defeat his WhiteHouse has faced so far. But as the White House considered flexing its muscle against the FreedomCaucus, the group remained unbowed, with severalmembers sparring with a president whose agenda has stalled.
“It didn’t take long for the swamp to drain @ realDonaldTrump,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. “No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D. C. Establishment.”