PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President of the conservative Washington think tank the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, voiced his opposition to the bill House Republicans unveiled earlier this week to replace Obamacare, but added Donald Trump appears to be a willing partner in working to make the effort acceptable for the more conservative members of Congress.
DeMint, a former Senator from South Carolina, told Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the rollout of this legislation is another example of the Republican party abandoning conservatives when it is convenient.
“Unfortunately, this is an age-old strategy of Republican leadership to try to do things without conservatives when, in fact, it was the conservatives who have been fighting for the repeal of Obamacare since it was implemented. A lot of the Republican leadership, including John Boehner, said forget it, it’s settle law. But we’ve all been fighting on the inside and the outside. Donald Trump ran on it.”
However, DeMint noted that he was more optimistic about the process after meeting with Trump at the White House.
“I didn’t know whether the President would be really heavy-handed trying to push us to vote for the House bill, but as it turned out, he was very open to suggestions. I made it clear that the Heritage Foundation and a lot of conservative groups could not support the House bill the way it was and we had some ideas on how we could improve it so that we could support it. Of course, he wanted us to support the bill, but once he realized we were not going to support it as it was, he had his policy people working with us on what we needed to change. He seemed very open to work with us. I considered it a very productive meeting.”