First prize goes to..
“Sen. Ron Johnson suggested that fellow Republican Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote were factors in the Arizona lawmaker’s decisive vote against the GOP health care bill.
In a radio interview Tuesday with AM560 ‘‘Chicago’s Morning Answer,’’ Johnson answered questions about the collapse of the years-long Republican effort to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, his criticism of the process and McCain’s dramatic vote.
In the early morning hours July 28, the Senate narrowly rejected the legislation, with McCain joining Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, delivering a serious blow to President Donald Trump’s agenda.
McCain, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer, had returned to the Senate that week for the critical votes, lifting GOP hopes and then dashing them.
‘‘He has a brain tumor right now. That vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. Some of that might have factored in,’’ Wisconsin’s Johnson said.
That surprised the interviewer, who asked, ‘‘Really?’’ and wondered whether the senator’s illness and the late night affected his judgment.
Johnson said he didn’t want to speak for any other senator, ‘‘I don’t know exactly what. … I really thought John was going to vote yes.’’ (A)
And tied for second place…
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are publicly criticizing one another as Republicans point fingers over why they have struggled to score political wins.
The public shots between the GOP president and Senate leader follow growing conservative criticism of McConnell, who has become a target for two right-wing candidates in an Alabama Senate race.
Conservatives suspicious of McConnell have used his failure to win a victory on ObamaCare repeal against him.
And they’ve found an ally, at least temporarily, in Trump.
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” the president said on Twitter Wednesday. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
Trump criticized McConnell a second time on Thursday, asking his supporters on Twitter: “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done.”
Trump was responding to McConnell’s remarks in Kentucky that the president’s “excessive expectations” were partly to blame for the perception that Republicans hadn’t accomplished anything.
“Our new president has of course not been in this line of work before and I think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” McConnell said during a Rotary Club event.
He added that were “artificial deadlines” on how long it took to pass bills that were “unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating.” Instead, he hopes GOP voters will wait until the end of 2018, when the 115th Congress wraps up, to judge their accomplishments. (B)
“President Donald Trump resumed his public feud with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday over his party’s failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a sign of the fraught relationship between two branches of government that are both controlled by Republicans.
“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!” Trump tweeted, his third tweet in two days calling out the Senate majority leader.
“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” the President tweeted earlier.
The tweets continues a public exchange of criticism between the two GOP leaders this week, exhibiting further tension between the White House and Congress, both of whom have an ambitious policy agendas that have struggled to make progress. On Tuesday, McConnell said Trump had “excessive expectations” for the legislative process and suggested there was a false perception that Congress is underperforming in part “because of too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality of the legislature, which may have not been understood.”
Trump responded to that criticism Wednesday, tweeting: “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” (C)
“The phone call, first reported by The New York Times, and comments at Bedminster mirror what Trump has said in private, according to four White House officials and Trump friends: that he is preparing to distance himself from Republicans in Congress if they aren’t successful in passing legislation and that he will not take the blame for them if they can’t.
Increasingly, these people say, the president is prepared to cast himself as an outsider — and Congress as an “insider” Washington institution. He has reminded advisers his poll numbers are higher than Congress’ and that he ran against Washington — and wants bills to sign — and will blast his own party if he doesn’t get them. Trump believes that his supporters will largely blame Congress instead of him, two people who have spoken to him said.” (D)
*attributed to many
(A) GOP senator suggests brain tumor affected McCain health care vote. By By Donna Cassata, https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/08/09/gop-senator-suggests-brain-tumor-affected-mccain-vote-health-care/QIo1YCJazIFTB05GMnGGpL/story.html
(B) McConnell, Trump point fingers, by Jordain Carney, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/345980-mcconnell-trump-point-fingers
(C) Trump to McConnell in third tweet: ‘Get back to work,’ ‘You can do it!’, by Ashley Killough, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/09/politics/mitch-mcconnell-dan-scavino/index.html
(D) Behind the Trump-McConnell feud, by JOSH DAWSEY, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/trump-mcconnell-gop-feud-241508