President Donald Trump gathered congressional Republicans on the White House lawn Wednesday to celebrate the passage of tax reform. While the mainstream media had to acknowledge that Trump had scored his first legislative victory, some pundits simply could not believe that the president enjoyed so much enthusiastic support from fellow Republicans. And some, citing polls, suggested the tax cuts would hurt Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.
Jim Acosta of CNN, standing on the South Lawn, scolded: “But keep in mind … this is a celebration that is being held by one half of Washington. This tax bill attracted zero support from Democrats.”
He criticized Trump for saying that the bill had essentially repealed Obamacare by ending the individual mandate that forced everyone to buy health insurance: “There are a lot of Americans out there who rely on the Affordable Care Act who may want to know that while the individual mandate in Obamacare has been repealed, there are other provisions inside that law that have not been repealed, which include allowing kids to stay on their parents’ health insurance, which protects against discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, and so on.”
He added: “By a measure of two-to-one, Americans have said in poll after poll that they view this tax cut plan as giveaway to the rich, that wealthier Americans are going to be prospering, as opposed to middle-class Americans getting the long end of the stick here. They feel like wealthier Americans and corporations are going to be doing better out of this tax cut plan.
“They’re going to have to answer for [this] when it comes to the November midterm elections, if people are not entirely sold on the tax cut that they’ve gotten in their paycheck every couple of weeks. If that’s not enough to win them over over the course of next year, you may see very different expression on the looks of Republicans come a year from now,” he warned.
NBC’s Chuck Todd simply could not believe Republicans were happy with Trump, and clearly felt they should not be. “What are you celebrating?” he asked, drawing a parallel with Democrats’ celebration of Obamacare in 2010, which was followed by their defeat in the midterm elections a few months later.
“We’re a week removed from the president dividing the party disgustingly in half, at times, over Roy Moore,” Todd continued. “And yet, the words that were used to describe this president today by his fellow Republicans were ‘Extraordinary.’ ‘Exquisite.’ ‘A miracle.’ ‘One heck of a leader.’ ‘Makes this presidency great.’ ‘The greatest in generations, or maybe ever.’ … Wow. I am surprised at how much they all — they didn’t just hug the president. They went all in.”
Todd predicted Democrats would use Republicans’ praise for Trump against the GOP: “Why do I get a feeling we’ll see Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s overly flattering words used in TV ads?”