The Loneliest President: Trump Is Increasingly Without Friends, Even in His Own Party
After the disastrous collapse of President Donald Trump’s repeal-and-replace bill for Obamacare, the beleaguered commander-in-chief now finds himself desperate for a political win — and with increasingly few allies with which to make that happen.
David Gergen, a bipartisan presidential adviser since the days of Richard Nixon, told The Washington Post that Trump “seems both politically and personally isolated these days. He’s flailing because he doesn’t know where to find his natural allies.”
The Post also reports that one of Trump’s weakest current relationships is with the House Freedom Caucus, against whom he has turned his wrath with a vigor comparable to that directed against the Democratic Party. Because the ultra-conservative caucus did better than Trump in their own districts, they feel empowered to stand up to him when his policy proposals clash with their own ostensible principles.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, told The Post that “that’s what happens when you have an unpopular president . . . popularity scares people. Lack of popularity emboldens them.”
Despite the political logic behind why the House Freedom Caucus has been willing to defy Trump, the president is reportedly planning on fighting them in the 2018 midterm elections. He has particularly directed his ire against the chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows of South Carolina. That said, Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy (a good friend of Trump’s) told The Post that Trump has also lost a great deal of trust in House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Because Democrats remain overwhelmingly hostile toward Trump, however, the loss of support from his most rightward flank has given him a very narrow path for achieving his next major legislative goal — whether it’s the repeal of Obamacare, tax reform, infrastructure investment, or anything else.