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Trump blames Democrats for ObamaCare defeat
President Trump on Friday blamed Democrats, not Republicans, for the stunning collapse of the GOP healthcare plan.
"We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats," Trump said, flanked by Vice President Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the Oval Office.
"I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own ObamaCare," the president added, referring to the House and Senate Democratic leaders.
But he said he would be "open" to working with Democrats on healthcare again if ObamaCare "explodes."
"When it explodes, which it will soon, if they got together with us and we got a real healthcare bill, I would be totally open to it, " Trump said.
The comments were Trump's first since he and GOP leaders decided to pull the American Health Care Act (AHCA) off the House floor after it became clear they were well short of the votes they needed to pass it.
The bill's failure was a humiliating setback for Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republican lawmakers, who campaigned for years on repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
Trump sought to distance himself from the promise to repeal ObamaCare.
"I never said repeal and replace it in 64 days," the president said.
In slamming Democrats, Trump is trying to quell a blame game between the White House that has erupted behind the scenes as the bill ran into major trouble on Capitol Hill.
While Democrats were united against the plan, defections from both conservative and moderates mounted even as Trump personally attempted to convince members of both factions to get on board.
But Trump evinced some annoyance with opponents of the measure, saying that, "We all learned a lot, we learned a lot about loyalty."
The president, however, praised Ryan for working "very, very hard" to pass the bill.
"I'm not going to speak very badly about anyone in the party," he said.