Tags: Donald Trump | Healthcare Reform | Ted Cruz | Obamacare | AHCA | repeal and replace | conservatives

Trump Courts Cruz in WH Dinner to Help Grease AHCA

Image: Trump Courts Cruz in WH Dinner to Help Grease AHCA
Sen. Ted Cruz (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 09:46 PM

President Donald Trump appears to be courting former foe Sen. Ted Cruz, hoping the Texas conservative can rally support for the GOP House leadership's healthcare plan.

The president and first lady Melania Trump hosted Cruz, his wife Heidi, and their two daughters for dinner at the White House on Wednesday night – a family friendly event that is a stark contrast to the bitter clashes between Trump and Cruz during their primary presidential race.

At one point, Trump accused Cruz's father of consorting with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before he assassinated President John F. Kennedy – and Cruz shot back Trump was "utterly amoral" and a "pathological liar."

But that was then.

"I'm very much looking forward to it," Cruz said of the dinner, per The Hill.

"It is principally a social dinner, but I'm sure the discussion will turn to the repeal of ­Obamacare."

Even Cruz realizes it will be no small feat to mobilize the same conservatives who joined him in 2013 in fighting Obamacare to now support the replacement plan.

"I have serious concerns about the House bill as drafted," Cruz said, per The Hill. "I do not believe the House bill as currently drafted would pass the Senate. But I also believe it can be fixed. We can make it better."

But he could emerge a savior of the GOP plan Trump is backing if he pulls off a victory with conservatives.

"Cruz is big," an unnamed GOP senator told The Hill, adding moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, have not ruled out supporting the plan. "Collins sounded like she could get there."

According to The Hill, Cruz surprised some Senate Republicans with his low-key response to the House Republican plan – skipping the news conference Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, held to blast the bill.

"The proper way to address those concerns is working with colleagues in the House, the Senate, and the administration," Cruz said, per The Hill.

But not everyone thinks Cruz can pull it off single-handed.

"I’ll wait and see what the results are," Senate Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told The Hill. "We need all the senators we can, because this is a team effort. Unless we have 51, we're not going to be able to keep our promises."

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President Donald Trump appears to be courting former foe Sen. Ted Cruz, hoping the Texas conservative can rally support for the GOP House leadership's healthcare plan.
Obamacare, AHCA, repeal and replace, conservatives
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2017-46-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 09:46 PM
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