Former Bush spokesman: Failure on health care is a "dismal day for Republicans"


Even loyal Republicans know the party's failure on health care reform is a complete disaster.

When even die-hard Republican loyalist and former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer is bashing the GOP's failure on health care, you know it's bad.

Fleischer, the unflappable press secretary who infamously warned Bush's critics to "watch what they say," offered a stinging assessment of the Senate Republicans' failure to pass their disastrous bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with tax cuts for the wealthy.

On "Fox & Friends," Fleischer said it was "a dismal day for Republicans" and slammed them for abandoning "the heart of what Republicans promised people for eight years." He even went so far as to suggest they should pay a price for their failure at the polls.

FLEISCHER: This is a dismal day for Republicans. This is an abandonment of the heart of what Republicans promised people for eight years, and not to be able to deliver on it? This is the Senate's job. These senators needed to have looked each other in the eye and said, "It is our responsibility to figure out how to replace." And their failure should not go un-noted. It should be remembered in the polls. Because they promised us this. I take these things seriously on core ideology.

Look, I think it's the failure of the myriad of senators. I don't blame McConnell, and I don't certainly don't blame President Trump. President Trump tried. And you have to give credit to House Republicans for fulfilling their promise. Senate Republicans didn't.

It's been a long time since it was Fleischer's job to spin and lie for the White House, but apparently old habits die hard. While Senate Republicans failed to pass a bill, Donald Trump didn't exactly help them. Unlike when President Barack Obama fought to pass health care reform, Trump never toured the country to explain to voters why his health care plan was a good one they should support.

In fact, he spent very little time talking about it at all, instead launching random and gratuitous attacks on Twitter, insisting the Russia scandal enveloping his presidency is a "hoax," and defending his son Donald Trump Jr.'s clandestine meeting with several Russians in order to obtain the Russian government's dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And of course the blame for the failure to pass the bill falls squarely on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well. McConnell locked out most of his own caucus from the super-secretive process of writing the doomed bill, and he dismissed the concerns of more moderate Republicans who feared that completely gutting Medicaid would not go over well with their constituents at home.

Still, in his condemnation of Senate Republicans, Fleischer is certainly right about one thing: Republicans failed miserably, and that's something everyone should remember. Especially on Election Day.