Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Thursday that President Trump should share some of the blame for Senate Republicans’ failure to pass a scaled-down ObamaCare repeal measure.
“The fact is, with very narrow margin — 52 people — [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare McConnell on healthcare failure: ‘Feel better, Hillary Clinton could be president’ George Will warns ‘grotesque’ is becoming normal for GOP MORE [R-Ky.] got 49 out of 52. And I think the president can’t disassociate himself from this,” Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends.”
“He’s part of the leadership team, he’s not an observer sitting up in the stands. He’s on the field. It was a collective failure.”
The former GOP leader’s comments came as Trump escalated a feud with McConnell, calling Thursday for the Kentucky Republican to “get back to work” on healthcare, among other policy initiatives.
McConnell said earlier this week that Trump had “excessive expectations” for moving his legislative agenda through Congress, prompting a rebuttal from the president.
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged that the president was frustrated with the Senate majority leader.
McConnell has drawn the ire of some Republicans in recent weeks, after the Senate narrowly rejected a measure to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.
The measure garnered the support of 49 Republicans, but three others — Sens. John McCainJohn McCainBrexit leader: People voted for change with Trump, GOP blocking it GOP senator: US-Russia relationship ‘not good right now’ because of Putin Five tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare MORE (Ariz.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiBrexit leader: People voted for change with Trump, GOP blocking it Five tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare Collins acknowledges GOP ignoring some of Trump’s ‘over the top’ rhetoric MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsBrexit leader: People voted for change with Trump, GOP blocking it Five tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare Collins acknowledges GOP ignoring some of Trump’s ‘over the top’ rhetoric MORE (Maine) — broke rank and voted against it.
That vote delivered a blow to the GOP’s most recent efforts to repeal and replace former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaDemocrats introduce another ‘false hope’ act to immigrants Illinois makes ‘Barack Obama Day’ a state holiday GOP senator: I wish Republicans had stood up to birtherism MORE‘s signature healthcare law and exasperated Trump, who has vowed to let ObamaCare “implode.”
The president has since abandoned that call, encouraging Republicans in Congress to get back to work on healthcare legislation.