Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed Friday's no vote on the American Health Care Act on Republicans — including the "incompetence" of President Donald Trump — and said that Democrats will only work with the GOP on healthcare if they removed any bills to repeal Obamacare.
"No 'Art of the Deal,'" the New York Democrat told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, referencing Trump's 1987 book. "President Trump was proven incompetent.
"Even his technique — 'I'll threaten them and they'll come back' — didn't work.
"Leader Ryan, I like him," he said of House Speaker Paul Ryan. "He's a good man, but I don't understand how you can put a bill on the floor before so many of your members have signed off on it.
"There is a lot of blame on the Republican side to go around," Schumer said.
But Trump blamed Democrats for refusing to support AHCA and said that the onus was now on them to approach Republicans, because Obamacare is heading for failure.
"We had no Democrat support," he told reporters at the White House. "We had no votes from the Democrats."
Schumer responded that the president's assertions amounted to "a tall tale, another one by President Trump.
"They never reached out to us. They never talked to us. They never said how can we work together to make it better.
"The failure is completely among the Republicans," he told Blitzer. "President Trump and the Congress.
"They weren't even trying to get Democrats involved.
"Now, it's about time for the president to lead — not to name call, not to blame, but to lead," Schumer added. "To simply say people are going to suffer, and someone is to blame, that makes no sense at all.
"If you're a real president, you care about people suffering — and we're ready to work with the president."
But any idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have symbolically voted to do more than 50 times since it was signed into law in 2010, must be taken "off the table," the Democrat said.
"If they take repeal off the table, we're willing to sit down with them and improve Obamacare.
"It's doing a good job, but there are places that it can be improved," he said. "No question about it.
"They've tried to repeal it. They failed. If they keep trying to repeal it, we won't be able to do anything.
"Of course, we'll come to them.
"It's time for the president to act like a president."
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