Tags: Josh Earnest | GOP | AHCA | Consensus | Obama

Josh Earnest: Republicans Couldn't Find Consensus Beyond Obama Fight

("Today")

By    |   Monday, 27 Mar 2017 08:01 AM

Republicans have been united in recent years with their "instinctive, reflective opposition" to everything having to do with former President Barack Obama, but when it came to replacing Obamacare, there wasn't a consensus in the party, former White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

"What's clear for Republicans in Congress, they haven't been safe for quite some time as long as their party is so divided,"  he said. On Monday, Earnest told the network's "Today" show that he will now be a political analyst for NBC. 

"The one unifying principle [for the GOP] has been instinctive, reflective opposition to everything related to President Obama," said Earnest. "That's why it was easy for them to repeal Obamacare."

But with the American Health Care Act, the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, Republican's couldn't build a coalition to "actually do something proactive and positive for the county," Earnest continued and there was no consensus in the party.

"As long as you're unwilling to work with Democrats to try to find some common ground, we're going to be stuck in the mud here," Earnest told the program.

The former press secretary also commented that Trump, who first blamed Democrats for the AHCA loss, and then congressional conservatives, is learning that "governing is more complicated and more difficult than campaigning."

"The challenge of this starts at the top," said Earnest. "If you want to be president of the United States and solve problems for the American people, you have to figure out a way to get it done. If you're not willing to call the other side and build bipartisan legislation, you're going to have trouble as long as your party remains so divided."

Now that the AHCA has been dropped, it's clear that congressional Democrats "are holding a stronger hand than it looked like they were holding 65 days ago," Earnest continued.

"The question is, how are they going to play that hand?" Earnest said.

"They have leverage now and they should use it. If there are opportunities to make progress on their terms, in support of values and priorities that Democrats have identified, they can look for those opportunities. They don't have to fold right now. They're playing a strong hand."

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Republicans have been united in recent years with their "instinctive, reflective opposition" to everything having to do with former President Barack Obama, but when it came to replacing Obamacare, there wasn't a consensus in the party...
Josh Earnest, GOP, AHCA, Consensus, Obama
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2017-01-27
Monday, 27 Mar 2017 08:01 AM
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