Senator Rand Paul was one of the Republicans who ran for president in 2016 and lost to President Donald Trump. A libertarian, Paul has always held stances that at times contradicted his party’s line. Now, under the presidency of a man who beat him, Paul has been especially difficult for Republicans to work with. He has opposed Trump’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and repeatedly voted against various GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare on grounds that the proposed bills are not different enough from Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Paul has been at it again, resisting the latest iteration of the GOP health care plan, known as the Graham-Cassidy Bill. Trump has begrudgingly fallen in line behind this bill, revealing his lack of concern for policy details and his insatiable desire for the public relations win of disgracing Obama’s landmark legislation. Now that Trump wants this bill to pass, he has turned on Paul, trying to force his support for the measure.
This is a strategy that Trump has used several times before. He always uses his Twitter feed to publicly attack people who go against him, including Senators from his own party who are obstructing his legislative agenda. He attacked Senator John McCain after he voted against the so-called “skinny” repeal of Obamacare several months ago. He also tried to pressure moderate Democratic Senators, like Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, to vote in favor of his tax reform plan. Rand Paul, however, is having none of it.
“Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare,’” Trump tweeted.
“Calling a bill that KEEPS most of Obamacare ‘repeal’ doesn’t make it true. That’s what the swamp does,” Paul responded on Twitter. “I won’t be bribed or bullied.” “I won’t vote for Obamacare Lite that keeps 90% of the taxes & spending just so some people can claim credit for something that didn’t happen,” he continued.