The Daily Telegraph

Trump savages his conservati­ve allies for healthcare debacle

- By Rob Crilly in New York

DONALD TRUMP is showing few signs of moving on from the healthcare debacle, as he heaped scorn on conservati­ves in his own party for helping Democrats save Obamacare.

After pulling Friday’s vote on the healthcare bill, he and his officials pledged to focus on other priorities. However, his tweet showed he is still intent on settling scores.

“Democrats are smiling in DC that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parent- hood & Ocare,” he posted, reminding Right-wingers they had torpedoed a bill that would have ended federal funding for a group that performs abortions.

Mr Trump was forced into a humiliatin­g climbdown when it became clear his bill to repeal Obamacare did not have the support it needed to become law.

He had spent the week trying to win over 30 or so hardline members of the Freedom Caucus who believed the American Health Care Act did not do enough to scrap key features of Obamacare. Mr Trump at first blamed Democrats for sabotaging a key Republican policy and promised to move quickly on to tax reform. Meanwhile aides and party strategist­s briefed that the defeat would soon be shrugged off as Obamacare collapsed under its own weight.

However, Mr Trump’s broadside is a reminder of his thin skin and his reputation as wall builder rather than a bridge builder.

Analysts also pointed out that Mr Trump’s populist takeover of the party had never reconciled its competing wings, including conservati­ves who suspected their president of liberal leanings. Failing to pass a bill when the party controls the White House and both houses of Congress is particular­ly embarrassi­ng.

Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice-president, believes he would have beaten Mr Trump in last year’s election if he had decided to run.

The shock defeat of Hillary Clinton has left Democrats to wonder whether a different candidate might have been more successful.

Mr Biden, 74, decided not to run after his son Beau died in 2015, but at Colgate University in central New York on Friday, he said: “I had planned on running for president. And although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won.” His supporters believe his blue-collar appeal may have stopped Mid-West Democrats switching to Mr Trump’s populist campaign.

 ??  ?? Donald Trump reminded conservati­ves they ended a bill that would curb abortion
Donald Trump reminded conservati­ves they ended a bill that would curb abortion

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