Donald Trump's decision to lead with the unpopular health care law was a total "rookie error," according to both House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and MSNBC's Chuck Todd.
Donald Trump chose to make a bill that would strip health care coverage from 24 million Americans the centerpiece of his first legislative push, a decision which is being described as a complete "rookie error."
MSNBC's Chuck Todd said as much on the Today Show:
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 24, 2017
DALY: Chuck, do you think there's actually any regret on behalf of the president or the White House they tackled health care first?
TODD: A hundred percent. A thousand percent. This was the rookie error. You don't make your first big piece of legislation taking things away — you be the goodie, you know, give things away. President Obama did stimulus, President Bush did tax cuts. This president's desperate to do tax cuts and infrastructure. Had he led with that and punted health care a year — it's complicated. The public, his supporters, would have given him time on this. Now they're rushing this through, and the irony is, they don't know what's in the bill right now. And remember that criticism that used to ride the Democrats over and over again? Now the Republicans are finding themselves — because they created a sense of urgency for no reason.
Republicans have been caught in a quandary over the American Health Care Act, with one faction of the party very aware that its draconian provisions to repeal Obamacare are exceedingly unpopular, while the other believes it is not cruel enough to the most vulnerable Americans.
Unlike the Affordable Care Act, the GOP repeal plan introduces instability, risk, and uncertainty to people's lives. Once they learned the details of the bill — which Republicans have had seven years to work on — voters instantly began rejecting its contents. In one poll, the bill polled worse than using ketchup on steak (a Trump favorite, apparently.)
Because of the bill's unpopularity, Republicans have been pushing to get it passed with minimal oversight, and changing the contents in order to entice one faction of Republicans to support it, while turning off another.
In her weekly press conference, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also pointed out the "rookie's error" from Trump. Pelosi has extensive experience in getting votes together on the Democratic side, and passed key legislation without Trump-style drama.
PELOSI: They're scrambling to find a bill that they can pass on the floor. I don't know if you want to call this, on Trump's part, a rookie's error, but you don't find a day and say, 'We're going to pass a bill.' You build your consensus in your caucus, and when you're ready, you set the date to bring it to the floor. But so eager were they to — I don't know, to be mean spirited, to say, 'We're going to bring up this bill on the same day as the 7th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act' — rookie's error, Donald Trump. You may be a great negotiator — rookie's error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you're not ready.
Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the Republican party have had years to plan for this, and Trump pledged to repeal Obamacare on day one. But the harsh details of their repeal effort are so unpopular, and Trump so clearly lacked the skills and diplomacy to sell the legislation, that the entire campaign has devolved into a farce executed by complete rookies.