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Source: Health Care Bill Pulled At Trump's Request; Trump Says ObamaCare Will "Explode; Trump Thanks Paul Ryan, Says He Worked "Very Hard"; Trump "Disappointed" In Freedom Caucus. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired March 24, 2017 - 16:30   ET


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: It's about the 155 million people who receive their health benefits in the workplace who will not be assaulted to buy some of the provisions that the Republicans put in the bill, especially last night when they removed the essential benefits package.

[16:30:04] So, again, it's pretty exciting for us. Yesterday, our anniversary, today a victory for the Affordable Care Act more importantly, for the American people. Tomorrow is the 51st anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., saying in a speech, that Mr. Clyburn quotes often to us, that of all of the forms of inequality, inequality in health care is probably the most inhumane and can sometimes lead to death. That was the spirit in which we came into this debate, honoring the vows of our founder of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the healthy life to liberty to pursue our happiness.

So, it's about our country and the vision of our founders. It's about our faith and it's about the unity of the Democrats united by our values. And with that I'm pleased to yield to our distinguished majority -- sorry -- not sorry -- Democratic whip.


REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MINORITY WHIP: This is a good day for the American people. We worked over years to assure that the American public would have access to affordable quality health care. We went a long way towards that effort in 2010 when we adopted the Affordable Care Act. Much of the credit for passing that bill goes to then Speaker Pelosi, now Leader Pelosi, who was indefatigable for ensuring every American would have the security of having the availability of health insurance.

This bill went down today. It went down today because the majority of the representatives of the American people in the House of Representatives thought this was a bad bill.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You're listening to the House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. We just heard from the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

And let's bring back our panel.

I think one thing that people can agree on, just from being observers of Capitol Hill, is that whatever you think of her politics, Nancy Pelosi was an effective speaker. She brought bills to the floor of the House and she won them.

And I think that Speaker Boehner and now Speaker Ryan are finding it's not that easy actually because when you're in the majority, you tend to have a left wing of your party that disagrees with everything that the right wing of your party agrees with. We saw that play out with the moderates from New Jersey and other states not wanting to get rid of a lot of the stuff that this bill would do, while a lot of people in the Freedom Caucus wanted it gotten rid of more and more quickly.

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She got er done. This is hard work. It was always going to be hard.

And I think there's a cost to doing nothing as well. And this is beyond just a political point because this happens to be personal for me as well. The problems remain with Obamacare and there is a death spiral --

TAPPER: Let's just explain to people. You are actually one of the people on Obamacare in the commonwealth of Virginia in an individual market and it is -- you have not enjoyed it. It's been bad.

HAM: It's actually not about me. There are many people far less fortunate than I am who were told they would not lose the plan they liked, they would not lose the doctor they like, but their premiums would go down and they would have more choices.

None of that is true. None of that is true for millions of Americans and those people remain. And that does not say this is the perfect bill for fixing that because at the end of the day I don't think it was after it was all cobbled together.

TAPPER: Can I just ask you, as long as we're making this a bit personal, would this bill have improved your situation?

HAM: I think perhaps slightly.

TAPPER: Because you're younger and premiums would have gone down?

HAM: If you take this top level of federal mandates off and it goes back to state mandates that you could have more variety in the market, yes, for that individual market.

But we have this Frankenstein monster that we created back in the '30s when we favored employers. No one is going to sever that because everybody is going to be angry if you sever it. And changing health care is really hard because you have to promise people there will be no disruption. And guess what? There's going to be disruption.

But people like me are losing and people less fortunate than I am have high deductibles and high premiums that they can't use their insurance.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: That's why Republicans say we're going to table this for a year and a half because the base, Republican base is not going to give up on wanting to repeal and replace Obamacare.

And I was just texting here with a Republican political consultant who said if they don't do something, it's at their own peril. The question now is whether they start doing it incrementally. And we don't have an answer. And it was clear to me watching Paul Ryan, it's really true, there was no plan B, none.

[16:35:04] JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And remember, a lot of this -- to M.K.'s point, she's here in suburban Washington. But a lot of these places where you only have one choice, for rural areas represented by Republicans. They can't go home next year and say this is Barack Obama's fault. He does not happen to be on the ballot next year.

So, they own this, they own the government, just as much as they're going to take credit for the economy, some of which started under Obama and maybe will be improved under the Trump and Republican government, they deserve the credit for that. They're in power, whatever happens, whether you have a direct hand or not, you get the benefit. Guess what? You also get the blame. They are the governing party.

And I thought Speaker Ryan was a man that actually, stepping up and saying, you know, we have some growing pains, we made a mistake, I'm disappointed, this is hard. The question is, can they recover? The question is, can they recover especially at a time -- we're in the early hours after this. But as we noted earlier there is a bit of a circular firing squad going on and blame game going on.

It is an inevitable in Washington and in politics. But if this was -- David and I were talking during some of these. This is not a thing they said they would do. This is the thing they said -- they have said in the -- and they benefited from this.

They won in 2010 in part because of this. We're still in a recession. They won hugely in 2014 because of this and they won it all in 2016 with this at the top of their agenda.

How did they now explain -- never mind. We're going to move on.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It's been the organizing principle. It's not just a campaign promise. It's been the organizing principle for the Republican Party for the better part of a decade.

So, it goes much deeper than that, but to Gloria's point and this is why I think watching Donald Trump's reaction to this is going to be so critical because --

TAPPER: Better take his iPhone away.


(LAUGHTER) CHALIAN: Because what Gloria is saying, a lot of grassroots will

demand some sort of action because it has been that organizing principle. And yet what is clear to me from that Paul Ryan press conference and what is clear coming out of the White House so far is that's not the case. They're not all that invested in doing something incremental and having this on the agenda right now.

And, so, we've all studied Donald Trump. It seems to me, my observation of Donald Trump, that his psychology around this will be like, that health care thing is a loser. And I do not want to touch a loser anymore. Like I don't -- I don't deal with losers.

TAPPER: Right.

CHALIAN: And that health care thing is loser so I think watching how he responds to this is going to be critical because I think he doesn't want it on the agenda at all and that gets fundamentally back --

TAPPER: I want to talk about Donald Trump's role in this because we heard the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in the pre-defeat conference in which he was acknowledging that this thing wasn't going to pass, although he didn't come out and say it, talking about how President Trump had left it all on the field and President Trump had been really engaged.

I don't know that that's accurate. I think he worked really hard in some of these meetings that he had in the White House over the last couple weeks. President Trump did an interview with Tucker Carlson about a week ago, and in that interview, Tucker Carlson talked about there are a number of your voters who are going to be worse off because of this bill. It's a great question. And Trump's response was, well, then I won't sign it.

It wasn't the kind of wonky familiar with the details explanation of why Tucker was wrong, and why those individuals were actually going to be better off. It was, well, if that's what comes before me, I'm not going to sign it.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's hard to emphasize how narrow a view of the presidency Sean Spicer's premise represents. A piece of the presidency is negotiating with the Congress. And we all know Barack Obama had trouble with it, but other presidents have done very, very well with it. But that's only a piece of it. And that's a piece of playing the inside game.

It's also important for the president to be able to play the outside game, and that is to rally the country --

TAPPER: Not just his supporters.

GERGEN: Not just his supporters.

TAPPER: Right. I think that's an issue with him.

GERGEN: It's a very big issue with him, because when Obamacare got passed, President Obama and Obamacare approval ratings in the 40s. And here he came into this with an approval rating for his bill at 17 percent. That's a huge difference.

They also -- in the White House, there is someone who does public liaison as it's called and that is to work with all the outside groups, all the outside interest groups before you go with the bill to make sure some of the significant ones are on board. All the major groups in health care came out against it. The doctors came out against it, nurses came out against it, hospitals came out against it.



KING: They kept asking for cues from the White House.

GERGEN: That's what the president does, that's what a White House does is to rally people to make it possible to pass it.

TAPPER: Speaking of White House, let's bring in CNN's Sara Murray who joins me now from the White House.

President Trump did make remarks. We're waiting or that tape to come in. What are you learning about what he had to say?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He scrambled to bring the press in after this news so he could make remarks to them. He was with his vice-president, Mike Pence, as well as Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, and sort of lamented, said this was a close vote but they couldn't get there.

He went on to say they're just going to let Obamacare collapse, explode on itself. He says that there is nothing else you can do, that is essentially what is going to happen.

[16:40:02] It sounds like based on this read out that we're getting, that the president did take pains not to really play the blame game publicly. He said that Paul Ryan worked very hard to try to get this done, as well as Tom Price, as well as Mike Pence. The president -- it looks like complimented himself on being a team player here, but he does appear to sound a little bit disappointed in the House Freedom Caucus, a little bit surprised that he was unable to bring them along.

Now, of course, Jake, the big question is how do you move beyond defeat like this? How do you change the subject? How do you show that you're still a president who can get something done after touting yourself as a deal maker?

And to reporters, the president did seem to sound like what he would do next is try to move forward on tax reform. Obviously, this is another very complicated, very complex issue. But we've been hearing from senior administration officials for the last couple of days that is really what the president is passionate about, that he wanted to be able to get health care reform done and then move on to tax reform.

Obviously, the health care component of that is not happening and it appears that he and Paul Ryan are on the same page in terms of OK, next. TAPPER: Next, indeed. Sara Murray at the White House.

Let's bring in right now former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston, Republican and Trump supporter.

What would you recommend to President Trump who as you know watches a lot of cable? So, who knows, he might be watching right now. How should he handle this defeat, what should he do, what should he not do?

JACK KINGSTON (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I think he should let the house do its thing. I think the house should be looking at this.

I think although there is a philosophical idea, let Obamacare collapse. House members won't. They'll be hearing from their constituents.

There is something wrong, you have to react. You have health care committees. You have health care appropriation bills. There will be plenty of opportunities for amendments and so forth.

But remember, you still have reconciliation. And the House isn't going to waste that opportunity. That's a powerful tool to do something.

So, I think that they will be coming back with some sort of bill. I think in the meantime --

TAPPER: Do you think they're going to do another health care bill?

KINGSTON: I think there will be some sort of -- they're going to look at this. I've been texting back and forth with my Freedom Caucus friends and my Tuesday Group friends and they all feel like, you know what, tough decision, but in politics, you have to survive. If you survive, you live to fight another day. Today was the strategic decision to let this one go.

TAPPER: What are they going to push, are they going to put full repeal on the board and try to get that on the floor and send that to the Senate?

KINGSTON: I don't think that they can do that. I know there is a belief, but I don't think they'll be able to do that. I think the Tuesday Group alone will say --

TAPPER: That's the moderates in the House.

KINGSTON: The moderates will say, you just can't do that. You have to have something out there.

TAPPER: And, Jen Psaki, there was a rumor, that President Obama when he met with then President-elect Trump, he said there are problems with Obamacare, fix them. Call it Trumpcare and then move on. But he did not do that. We have 30 seconds before the Trump tape.

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, President Obama also wrote a lengthy piece in the Journal of American Medicine where he talked about the benefits of a public option and how that could help and he acknowledged there were some things that needed to be fixed. Senator Schumer has also said that. What will be interesting to see is what the Democrats may do now with this recognition in mind.

TAPPER: And let's listen in to President Trump.



We were very close and it was a very, very tight margin. We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren't going to give us a single vote so it's a very difficult thing to do.

I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now. It's -- many states have big problems, almost all states have big problems.

I was in Tennessee the other day and they've lost half of their state in terms of an insurer. They have no insurer. And that's happening to many other places. I was in Kentucky the other day and similar things are happening.

So, Obamacare is exploding with no Democrat support. We couldn't quite get there with just a very small number of votes short in terms of getting our bill passed. A lot of people don't realize how good our bill was because they were viewing phase one, but when you add phase two which was mostly the signs of Secretary Price who is behind it, and you add phase three which I think we would have gotten, it became a great bill. Premiums would have gone down and it would have been very stable, would have been very strong. But that's OK.

But we're very, very close and, again, I think what will happen is Obamacare, unfortunately, will explode. It's going to have a bad year. Last year, you had over 100 percent increases in various places. In Arizona, I understand it's going up very rapidly again, like it did last year. Last year was 116 percent. Many places 50, 60, 70 percent. I guess it averaged whatever the average was, very, very high. And this year should be much worse for ObamaCare.

So, what would be really good with no democrat support, if the democrats when it explodes, which it will soon if they got together with us and got a real healthcare bill, I'd be totally open to it and I think that's going to happen. I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own ObamaCare. They own it, 100 percent own it. And this is not a republican Healthcare, this is not anything but a democrat healthcare, and they have ObamaCare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember this is not our bill, this is their bill.

Now, when they all become civilized and get together and try and work out a great healthcare bill for the people of this country, we're open to it, we're totally open to it. I want to thank the republican party. I want to thank Paul Ryan. He worked very, very hard. I will tell you that. He worked very, very hard.

Tom Price and Mike Pence who is right here, our Vice-President, our great Vice-President. Everybody worked hard. I worked as a team player and would have loved to have seen it pass. But, again, I think you know I was very clear to that, I think there wasn't a speech I made or very few where I didn't mention that perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today because we'll end up with a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess known as ObamaCare explodes.

So, I want to thank everybody for being here. It will go very smoothly. I really believe. I think this is something, it certainly was an interesting period of time. We all learned a lot. We learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote getting process. We learned about some very arcade rules in obviously both the Senate and in the House. So, it's been - certainly, for me, it's been an interesting experience. But in the end, I think it's going to be an experience that leads to an even better Healthcare plan. So, thank you all very much and I'll see you soon. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it now your intention to go to tax reform or what's next on your -

TRUMP: We'll probably be going right now for tax reform, which we could have done earlier, but this really would have worked out better if we could have had some democrat support. Remember, this, we had no democrat support. So now, we're going to go for tax reform which I've always liked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're confident in Speaker Ryan's leadership and his ability to get things done?

TRUMP: Yes, I am. I like Speaker Ryan, he worked very, very hard. A lot of different groups, he's got a lot of factions and there's been a long history of liking and disliking, even within the republican party, long before I got here. But I've had a great relationship with the republican party. It seems that both sides like Trump and that's good, and you see that, I guess, more clearly than anybody. But we've had a grab - I'm not going to speak badly about anybody within the party, but certainly there is a big history. I think Paul really worked hard and I would say that we will probably start going very, very strongly for the big tax cuts and tax reform. That will be next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, it is fair to (inaudible) to let Obamacare explode?

TRUMP: Well, it's going to happen. There's not much you can do about it. It's going to - bad things are going to happen to ObamaCare. There's not much you can do to help it. I've been saying that for a year and a half. I said, "Look, eventually, it's not sustainable. The insurance companies are leaving. You know that. They're leaving one by one as quick as you can leave. And you have states in some cases soon will not be covered. So, there's no way out of that."

But the one thing that was happening as we got closer and closer, everybody was talking about how wonderful it was, and now it will go back to real life. People will see how bad it is, and it's getting much worse.

You know, I said the other day when President Obama left, '17, he knew he wasn't going to be here. '17 is going to be a very, very bad year for ObamaCare, very, very bad. You're going to have explosive premium increases, and your deductibles are so high people don't even get to use it.

So they'll go with that for a little while. And I honestly believe - I know some Democrats, and they're good people. I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say, look, let's get together and get a great healthcare bill or plan that's really great for the people of our country. And I think that's going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could've passed the bill in the House without any Democratic support, why do you think you weren't able to craft a deal among the Republican Party?

TRUMP: Well, we were very close. We were just probably anywhere from ten to 15 votes short. Could have even been closer than that. You'll never know because you never know how they vote. But in the end, I think we would have been ten votes, maybe closer.

And - but it's very hard to get almost 100 percent. You know, you're talking about a very, very large number of votes, among any group. And we were very close to doing it. But when you get no votes from the other side, meaning the Democrats, it's really a difficult situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you talk with democrats now?

TRUMP: No, I think we have to let ObamaCare go its way for a little while. And we'll see how things go. I'd love to see it do well, but it can't. I mean, it can't. I mean, it's not a question of - I hope it does well, I would love it to do well. I want great healthcare for the people of this nation. But it can't do well.

It's imploding and soon will explode and it's not going to be pretty. So, the Democrats don't want to see that. So, they're going to reach out when they're ready. And whenever they're ready, we're ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel betrayed by the House Freedom Caucus at all? They seemed to be the most difficult.

TRUMP: No, I'm not betrayed. They're friends of mine. I'm disappointed because we could have had it. So I'm disappointed. I'm a little surprised, to be honest with you. We really had it. It was pretty much there within grasp.

But I'll tell you what's going to come out of it is a better bill. I really believe a better bill, because there were things in this bill I didn't particularly like. And I think it's a better bill. You know, both parties can get together and do real healthcare, that's the best thing. ObamaCare was rammed down everyone's throat, 100 percent Democrat. And I think having bipartisan would be a big, big improvement. So, no, I think that this is going to end up being a very good thing. I'm disappointed, but they're friends of mine. And, you know, they got on - it was a very hard time for them and a very hard vote. But they're very good people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - necessarily love, what specifically aren't you?

TRUMP: Well, I think we could have had things that I would have liked more. And if we had bipartisan I really think we could have a health care bill that would be the ultimate. And I think the Democrats know that also.

And some day in the not too distant future that will happen. And I never said - I guess I'm here, what, 64 days? I never said repeal and replace ObamaCare. You've all heard my speeches. I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days. I have a long time.

But I want to have a great healthcare bill and plan, and we will. It will happen. And it won't be in the very distant future. I really believe there will be some Democrat support and that will happen, and it will be an even better bill.

I think this was a very good bill. I think it will be even better the next time around. And I don't think that's going to be in to long a period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything specifically you want to see changed going from this bill to the next bill?

TRUMP: No, I mean, I don't want to speak about specifics, but there are things I could have - I would have liked even more. But I thought overall this was a very, very good bill.

And I thought Tom Price - Dr. Tom Price, who really is amazing on healthcare and his knowledge, I thought he did a fantastic job. Same with Mike Pence. I think these two guys, they worked so hard and really did a fantastic job.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: President Trump responding to the ignominious defeat of his Healthcare legislation which was pulled for the second time, two days in a row. Let's go back to Sara Murray at the White House. And Sara, President Trump blaming democrats saying on this day at the end of the week or perhaps his first - his worst political week of his Presidency, that the real losers are House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer because they now have to own ObamaCare.

SARA MURRAY, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, look at that discipline, Jake. This is a President who has never made his concerns with members of his own party secret. Not hearing that today. Today he went out of his way to blame democrats. He went out of his way to say nice things about House Speaker Paul Ryan. But let's read between the lines a little bit here because he said something that stuck out to me. He said, we learned a lot about loyalty and in an interview with the New York Times, he went out of his way to praise the Tuesday group, those are the more moderate republicans, calling them terrific. I think that what you have seen is sort of a crash course in governing for a President who has clearly never done this before. You know, he may take a very different approach when it comes to tax reform than what we saw here in terms of the President trying to woo not only moderate republicans but very conservative republicans. I do get the sense from the White House that they do feel a little bit burned from members of their own party. That's not what the President is going to say publicly, but you can bet that's going to be something they remember as they try to pull together tax reform and figure out how they can shepherd that through, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Sara Murray, thank you so much. David Gergen, let me bring you back because you were sitting there, you worked for a number of Presidents on both sides of the aisle. What did you make of President Trump's response?

DAVID GERGEN, WHITE HOUSE STAFF ASSISTANT: It was - it was delusional in some ways. I mean, I thought - and I thought, why did - yes, Paul Ryan manned up. You know, he took responsibility. This is a man who just shoves it off on other people and described things in ways that are - you know, that are just misleading. Look, you know, I'm sure he'll get better at this. And I think it's also fair to say that a lot of presidents stumble. A lot of presidents had trouble in their first hundred days.

TAPPER: Bill Clinton had trouble in his first hundred days.

GERGEN: Bill Clinton had trouble, Jack Kennedy had bad pigs in the first hundred days. But I think when you add up the totality of it, you said this is the worst week of his Presidency. I actually think this may be the worst hundred days we've ever seen in a President. It - maybe it will get better. But earlier this week he has credibility, you know, took a direct hit over the wiretapping.

TAPPER: By the FBI Director.

GERGEN: And now his capacity has taken a direct hit. He came to us as the deal maker. His ultimate promise was that he was the deal maker, he can make the system work. And that's so clearly has failed.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: That's what I don't get. He said the best thing that could happen is what happened today. I mean, this is the President who was trying to get his signature plan passed through Congress, you know, repeal and replace, and he came out and said the best thing that could happen is what happened today because I think republicans, in the end, were more concerned about losing this than the President himself. And I saw a clear signal from him today, which was maybe I'll do a bipartisan bill. You know what that means? That means Freedom Caucus, sure he said they're my friends. They're not his friends. When he was talking about doing a bipartisan bill, just wait, Freedom Caucus, if he wants to do tax reform or infrastructure. He may be - he may be not so friendly with those folks anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To David's point, he's President of the United States. Which means he's President to all those people who like ObamaCare, too. He's their President, too. And imagine if a fire chief showed up, he said ObamaCare is exploding and we're going to watch it and let it explode and then maybe we'll do something about it. it's like a fire chief showing up and says don't squirt any water at that building, let's just let it burn to the ground. He's in charge now. I know he doesn't like this program. I know he thinks the people who built this program - you know, made a mess. But guess what, he's the President now. It's his mess. He didn't start it, but he inherited it.

JACK KINGSTON, TRUMP'S FORMER CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: I don't know. David was quoting last night, I think we all saw the Quinnipiac poll, 17 percent popularity for this bill. I mean, hey, if your party doesn't pass a vote that's 17 percent popular, it's not the end of the world. I mean, it could be the kind of thing egotistically, hurt my pride but legislatively it didn't hurt me. Because Charlie Dent and Mark Meadows and the people in between aren't going to have 30-second ad against them now about voting for a bill -

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. But if you look at the energy -


SANDERS: If you look at the energy in the state in districts across the country, red districts and these Town Halls and very, very red places, constituents are coming saying there is a problem with my healthcare, you just want to repeal it and you're not going to do anything to fix it, tell me what you are going to do. I want to keep my healthcare but it needs to get better. So, this is definitely in the hands of republicans. And you want to talk about tax reform in the latest Quinnipiac poll, 74 percent don't want to see taxes lowered for the wealthy. That's not popular either.

TAPPER: I want to go to Mary Katherine because Mary Katherine is one of the few people, if not the only person who's actually on ObamaCare right now. Just as somebody -


TAPPER: But as somebody who uses this, what do you want President Trump and congress to do? Do you want him to cut a deal with the democrats to improve it?

HAM: Well, I think the end - first politically, I think the end of the - well, nothing matters opera that we've all been watching is when he gets together with Schumer and Pelosi and does a public option. (INAUDIBLE). It's like, this is - he was -

TAPPER: The public option that he - that said he wanted in his book in 2000? HAM: Yes, of course. He doesn't care about this. And the thing - the thing about him owning it though, is I'm sorry, I do think he's more invested in tax reform and manufacturing or infrastructure. All these things, he chose this as the first thing. This was the first thing. His name is on it and he's the deal guy.

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What was striking to me is that he won the election in part because he connected in a better way with the public and people who felt like nobody was standing up for them. And for every President, there's an opportunity when you fail. They all fail at certain points. And he used that opportunity to do a nonsensical like out of his mind, you know, rant about people he was angry at. He didn't use it as an opportunity to speak directly to people and say, I'm fighting for you, I want to fix this. I promised you I would do it. And that was pretty striking to me, tactically from him and his team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not just nonsensical, cynical which is what John was getting at. And I don't think cynicism like that saying sort of let it explode for everyone, I just don't think Americans are going to respond to that.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks -


PSAKI: Directly, I'm fairly cynical about what could possibly could be done at this moment.

TAPPER: OK. Fair enough. That's for THE LEAD, I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" with more on this breaking news. Have a good weekend.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: Happening now, breaking news, pulling the bill. President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan pulling Republican Healthcare bill after days of intense -