The Best GOP Reactions to the Death of Trumpcare

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It was not Mitch McConnell’s day. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Monday night, Trumpcare died, at least for now. On Tuesday, things got even worse for the GOP. Hours after Mitch McConnell began pushing his new plan (actually his old plan) to repeal Obamacare without a replacement ready to go, his Hail Mary gambit hit a wall when three senators refused to go along. With their health-care ambitions in shambles, some Republicans were in an unusually frank mood to reflect on how they got here. Others were just confused. A sample of the differing moods:

Self-reflection
Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, last seen accusing Mitch McConnell of a “breach of trust” for promising that devastating Medicaid cuts would never go into effect, found fault with his party’s way of doing business: “We didn’t have the courage to lay out exactly what caused premiums to increase,” Johnson said, noting that senators didn’t even have an up-to-date budget analysis of the latest health-care proposal. “It’s an insane process. If you don’t have information how can you even have a legitimate discussion and debate?”

Brutal honesty about the GOP’s ineptitude
Asked by a report what it means that Republicans couldn’t move on health care even with total government control, North Carolina representative Mark Walker replied, “Well, it means at this point we’re a little incompetent.”

Brutal honesty about the GOP’s agenda
West Virginia senator Shelley Moore Capito’s statement explaining why she couldn’t support a repeal with no replacement was unusually blunt and pointed: It led with “As I have said before, I did not come to Washington to hurt people.”

Outright denial
Appearing on Fox News as McConnell’s last-ditch effort collapsed around him, Utah senator Mike Lee said, “I simply refuse to accept the suggestion that the votes wouldn’t be there.”

Defiance
On the Senate floor, McConnell attempted to explain why he is pressing forward with a repeal vote that, by all indications, will fail. “I regret that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failures of Obamacare will not be successful. That doesn’t mean we should give up. We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief from Obamacare. I think we owe them at least that much.”

And, last but not least…

Sheer vindictiveness

The Best GOP Reactions to the Death of Trumpcare