Before the Republicans failed to secure the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Mitch McConnell, and President Donald Trump had a stable relationship when compared to Trump’s past dealings with others a part of Congressional leadership.
In an interview with Reuters in May 2017, McConnell applauded the Trump administration for the work that it had done so far by saying, “What the administration is doing, not only am I comfortable with it, but I think the vast majority of Republicans in Congress feel that this is a right-of-center presidency, which is what we had hoped.”
The present status of their relationship is certainly not as stable as in May or June, and could even be described as broken. The ambitions of the GOP in terms of repealing the ACA seem to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as the two men have been combative towards each other during the months of July and August.
McConnell and Trump shared positive views of each other when they envisioned being on the winning team, but since then Trump’s claim of “This will be great if we get it done. And if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like. And that’s okay. I understand that very well” has dissipated into irrelevancy to himself, and has been seen through by McConnell.
Thursday, when President Donald Trump was confronted at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the question of whether or not Senior Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell should step down from his position, he offered a reply that was far from amicable.
Trump officially stated “I’ll tell you what, if he doesn’t get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question.”
A side-by-side comparison of these statements provides for two very different messages to be sent McConnell by Trump. The word’s spoken by Trump could be deemed threatening, whereas his tweet’s language clearly attempts to be encouraging.
Regardless of what sentiment is meant to be gathered from Trump’s words, his battle with McConnell stems from McConnell’s critique of the President’s “excessive expectations” at a Kentucky Town Hall meeting Monday of this week. The president responded to this commentary with his own on twitter 12 hours ago by saying “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”
McConnell’s inability to repeal ObamaCare is a result from a divided consensus within his conference in the House. Although it did seem that Trump, McConnell, and their cronies were close to using the “skinny” repeal as the driving force behind the Senate forming a coalition with the House on health care legislation, Senator John McCain’s testimony and oppositional vote eradicated this possibility.
The quintessence of the disagreement is the lack of enthusiasm to continue fighting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on McConnell’s part versus President Trump’s fervor to demolish any remnants of the ACA.
Once the 51-49 vote came in against the Skinny repeal, McConnell stated that “It’s time to move on” and that his “only regret is we didn’t achieve what we hoped to accomplish.” A very mild representation of the GOP’s disappointment when coupled with the President’s.
McConnell has fallen prey to the wrath that took out Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci alike, although three months ago he was certain that he was not a candidate for reaping the consequences of giving into the President’s fickle attitude.