GOP congressman: Trump should 'grow up' if he cut debt deal to get back at GOP detractors

Story highlights

  • "Grow up a bit," the Michigan congressman said about Trump on "The Steve Gruber Show" on 1240 WJIM Michigan radio.
  • "I don't get it," Walberg said of the deal Trump cut with Democrats.

(CNN)Republican Rep. Tim Walberg said Thursday that President Donald Trump needs to "grow up" if he agreed to a deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling to get back at his detractors in the Republican Party.

Asked if the deal with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, which ties relief for Hurricane Harvey to a three-month raise of the debt ceiling, was a way to hit back at his own party, Walberg said that he hoped it wasn't because most Republicans have been supportive of his agenda.
    "Grow up a bit," the Michigan congressman said on "The Steve Gruber Show" on 1240 WJIM Michigan radio. "Accept that. It's a tough sport up here. You've gotta work with your team. I won't go further than that but I can't believe that Trump has that thin skin."
    "I've supported him," Walberg said of Trump. "I've appreciated the policies that he's moved forward thus far. And I'm hoping that we will continue to work together and this is just a blip that today we'll find out another reason why. But I don't get it."
    Trump reportedly surprised Republican leaders as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by agreeing to the Democrats' plan on Wednesday in an Oval Office meeting with top Hill Republicans and Democrats. In the radio interview, Walberg expressed disbelief about the deal.
    "I'm still shaking my head," he said. "I don't get it. And Republican leadership is still shaking their head as well thinking there was no way that he would accept that deal and all of a sudden on his own he went rogue."
    Walberg went on to say that he thought this deal would make it harder for the President to push through tax reform, the next major item on his agenda, while ceding leverage over the debt ceiling to Democrats in December "without getting anything for it except grief." He further added that the agreement did not show the negotiating prowess expected of the businessman known for writing "The Art of the Deal."
    "So I'm hopeful that today as we sit down we hear more explanation as to the reason," Walberg said. "But when I heard the President saying that everybody was happy -- (House Speaker Paul Ryan), (House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy), (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), Nancy, Chuck -- I thought, 'You've gotta be kidding.' And then talking with leadership subsequent to that they were just blown away and blindsided by an agreement that he made on his own. So the 'Art of the Deal' didn't seem to go the way that one would expect it to achieve success in reducing unnecessary expenditures, moving a tax reform plan through, getting a debt ceiling taken care of but done in such a way that we have at least some provisions for controlling in the future."