“Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible,” the former businessman tweeted in 2013.
The missive is unfortunate in light of his party’s inability to deliver on their key promise of the last seven years: Repealing former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.
Senate leadership started working on their version of a ‘repeal and replace’ bill in May, but failed to rally the 50 votes needed to bring it to a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared the death of the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Monday, saying, “Regretfully, it’s now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful”.
Mr McConnell then moved to repeal Obamacare without replacing it, but was stymied when three Republican senators announced their opposition to the plan.
Facing this failure at a public event on Tuesday, Mr Trump attempted to shift the blame to Congress.
“I’m certainly disappointed,” Mr Trump said at a luncheon with military service members. “For seven years, I’ve been hearing ‘repeal and replace’ from Congress, and I’ve been hearing it loud and strong. And then when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don’t take advantage of it.”
The President, who was a forceful voice in the House health care vote, was notably absent from the Senate effort.
This weekend, while Senate Republicans were scrambling to gather votes for the bill, Mr Trump was playing golf and attending the Women’s Open at his own club. On Monday, he participated in a “Made in America” product showcase, in which he sat in a fire truck and pretended to be a firefighter.
The President was reportedly blindsided by news of the Senate bill’s demise on Monday, just hours after he told GOP senators they would look like “dopes” if they did not pass it.
Assessing the failure of the Senate health care bill on Tuesday, however, the President was already on to a new plan.
“Let Obamacare fail. It will be a lot easier,” he said. “…We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.”