want to read the bill and see for themselves it wasn’t a repeal. The
establishment is winning right now.
RUSH: I was at the White House on that Thursday night, March 23,
when the “Tuesday Group” was there for a meeting with Trump. I
actually saw some of the meeting where Trump converted 17 “no”
votes into 16 “yes” votes. He did it not by selling the specifics of the
bill, at least while I was observing — that may well have happened
later — but rather by selling loyalty to him and the Party and the
glories of having a legislative victory. It seemed clear to me that was
the objective for a lot of people. Not what was in the bill; just get it
passed so he could sign it.
And I was very alarmed when
everything eventuated to turn on
the Freedom Caucus. Once again,
conservatives were portrayed as
the roadblock. Conservatives were
portrayed as the problem.
RUSH: But here’s the thing.
Trump’s not going anywhere.
Louie, I may be whistling Dixie
here, but at some point the people
you’ve been talking about, the
leadership, are going to realize that
Trump is here to stay. He’s not
temporary. He’s not going anywhere. You’re not going to change
him. He sent Sessions down to the
border to raise hell and to start enforcing the law on immigration.
The things he can do on his own,
where he doesn’t need Congress to
implement his agenda, he is doing.
He is not softening. He’s not watering himself down. The health care
bill was the only instance in his Presidency where he signed up for
something that was not what he campaigned on.
GOHMERT: And who talked him into going first with health care?
Priebus and Ryan and McConnell. They convinced him this was a
slam-dunk: “Everybody loves the bill. There are only a few naysayers,
let’s go first with health care.” When originally he was saying, “Let’s do
the tax reform first.” Which might have actually been easier.
You’ve talked about some of the basics over the years. I’ve been listening to you since 1992. You were the first one I ever heard bring up the
automatic budget increases, that we need to have a zero baseline. We
need to get to that. Trump understands spending too much money,
that you can’t. Cutting taxes so we can bring businesses back, he understands that’s going to work. But they pushed him into going first with
health care reform, even though the establishment seems to have won
on the idea of not actually repealing Obamacare. You’ve been right all
along, that this is an establishment versus outsiders fight.
RUSH: Exactly. Which brings me back to my observation about Trump
not going anywhere. I think a lot of these people, Democrats included,
are telling themselves stories that Trump’s temporary. That even if
Trump’s still there, they can neuter him, and return to the establish-
ment running the show. But at some point, my theory is, they’re going
to realize that’s not happening. Now if that’s the case, is there a way that
you see the House leadership changing down the road, instead of op-
posing Trump to stand with the establishment? Do you foresee the
Republican leadership finally acceding to Trump and helping him
move his agenda in these four years? Is that remotely possible?
GOHMERT: It absolutely is possible. He is a strong-willed guy. But the
only way it happens is if he realizes who in the House is really support-
ing what he wants, which is really the Freedom Caucus. Actually,
you’ve got more than 200 in the House who support and want Trump
to succeed. But never underestimate the power of apathy or going along
to get along. It does cause a lot of awfully good people to just go along
instead of standing up for what they ran on. Especially if you have
leadership helping push the apathy.
Well, Trump doesn’t push apathy. He pushes “let’s get in there and
get things done.” I told him back in September that I think he has the
potential to be one of our greatest Presidents in foreign relations, but
that domestically he’s going to have so many people fighting him that
that’s an open question.
“On foreign affairs,” I said, “Presidents who are portrayed as being
our smartest, even though they weren’t, had more trouble with foreign
relations. But people like Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, who
were considered a little bit crazy, they got more done.” I said, “You remember Saturday Night Live, the way they used to portray Reagan
walking around looking for the red button so he could launch the nuclear missiles?” I said, “It’s terrible to be portrayed that way, but Presidents who are perceived by foreign leaders as being just a little bit crazy
like that get more done. They succeed more in the diplomatic relations
with other countries because there’s that fear in the back of the mind,
‘This guy could be just a little crazy.’”
RUSH: I think Trump is exploiting that. It’s called “the Madman
GOHMERT: [Laughs] It’s terrific. I think it gives him a lot more leverage. Trump said back in September, “They’re portraying me as
being crazy.” I said, “I know. That’s why you’re going to be one of the
“I’d much rather help America by doing everything I can to actually
repeal Obamacare than win the next election.” — REP. LOUIE GOHMERT