Potentially major shift, but bridges with Democrats may already have been burned
“This president is not going to be a partisan president,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said that while “I think it’s time for our folks to come together, I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”
It was one of a rapid-fire series of signs that the Trump administration is fed up with many of the factions in the House Republican conference and is considering changing its legislative strategy. The president took to Twitter to criticize hard-line conservatives — known as the House Freedom Caucus — who had worked to topple the GOP health plan.
Whether the Trump administration can work with Democrats remains an open question. While Trump’s ideological flexibility could open the door for some agreement, the president also would still have to bridge divides within the Republican Party. Moreover, the liberal wing of the Democratic base is suspicious of any efforts to work with Trump. “The minute he got into office, maybe led by Vice President Pence and some of the others, he moved so far to the hard right that it’s virtually impossible for us to work with him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said on ABC’s “This Week.”