Will Trump Forge an Alliance With Democrats?
In addition to laying the blame for the failed healthcare bill at the doorstep of the House Freedom Caucus conservatives, the Trump administration is now apparently eyeing an alliance with Democrats to get around the hard-right flank of the Republican Party.
Some of Trump’s top aides said Sunday that the president was willing to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats on a number of upcoming agenda items, including tax reform and the budget. And while Trump has said many times that the Obamacare market will implode if it isn’t repealed, there is now some indication that he may be willing to support fixes to the current law.
“It’s time for the party to start governing,” said White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. “I think it’s time for our folks to come together, and I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”
Asked if Trump would support legislation that would keep Obamacare working, Priebus said, “I don’t think the president is closing the door on anything.”
Priebus insisted that Trump wasn’t necessarily turning his back on the Freedom Caucus, and that he was still fully behind House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“It’s more or less a warning shot that we are willing to talk to anyone. We always have been,” he said. “I think more so now than ever, it’s time for both parties to come together and get to real reforms in this country.”
On another Sunday show, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Democrats were still willing to work with President Trump.
“If he changes, he could have a different presidency,” Schumer said. “But he’s going to have to tell the Freedom Caucus and the hard-right special wealthy interests who are dominating his presidency.”
This could be Trump’s way of gaining leverage over conservative Republicans, but it could also mean that Trump is choosing “winning” over losing, and he’s losing certainty in his ability to get the Republican Party behind his agenda.There’s been a lot of talk about the deep split within the GOP, but there’s a significant split within the Democratic Party as well. The problem is that Trump seems to be looking to form an alliance with the establishment leaders of both parties and not the grassroots, anti-establishment wings. The bigger problem is that Trump may be giving the media storyline – that he’s president only because of the Democrat voters he picked up – a little too much credence.
Of course, he could simply be setting up a fault line situation where it’s Trump vs. Both Parties. In which case…we could be in for anything.