Tags: Healthcare Reform | reince priebus | ahca | vote | career | white house

NYT: AHCA Vote was Make or Break for Priebus

Image: NYT: AHCA Vote was Make or Break for Priebus
Reince Priebus (AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 05 May 2017 01:16 PM

Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump's chief of staff, saw the second Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill as a critical moment in his White House career, according to aides and Republican officials Friday in The New York Times.

The president targeted Priebus for the withdrawal of the first push to repeal Obamacare on Priebus, blaming his predictions for a high vote count, and saying Priebus was too friendly with House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsin native, the Times report said.

After the first bill was withdrawn in March, Trump began merging Ryan and Priebus's names together, saying "Ryan-ce," several West Wing aides said in The Times.

The Times report also said that Priebus' job was probably not on the line if the second attempt to pass the bill had failed, but aides said his standing was already weakened and this would have damaged it further.

"At first, I think Reince wanted to be the gatekeeper, the guy who has control of who comes in and out all day. But you can't do that with Donald Trump — he won't let you," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina) said in The Times.

"I think he's learned to play a different role by necessity. He has to stick with organizing things. He has to be the connective tissue. I think he gets that," Graham added.

"It's been the most dysfunctional White House in memory, and a lot of it is on Reince," according to Chris Whipple, who wrote "The Gatekeepers," a book about the history of White House chiefs of staff back to Harry Truman's administration.

"Priebus has made rookie mistake after rookie mistake, and he started by making the biggest one of all: not insisting he be the first among equals. Fatal mistake. I'm not sure anybody could make that demand, but he didn't even really try," Whipple said in The Times.

The chief of staff, a former Republican National Committee chairman, now handles Trump's Oval Office schedule personally.

"The trains are now running on time," Thomas Barrack. Jr., a Trump friend, said in the report.

The stresses of the job have been worth it, Priebus has told friends.

"Reince is fundamentally a nice Midwestern guy who is very concerned about not losing friends and not making enemies. He is, at bottom, a pleaser. But he doesn't want to fail," Charlie Sykes, a veteran Republican operative, said in The Times.

A Politico report Wednesday also looked at Priebus' work to push through the bill. "He's working this nonstop. You're going to see a Reince victory tour. Wait and see," one of his allies said.

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Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump's chief of staff, saw the second Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill as a critical moment in his White House career, according to aides and Republican officials Friday in The New York Times.
reince priebus, ahca, vote, career, white house
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2017-16-05
Friday, 05 May 2017 01:16 PM
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