Tea Party activists, while critical of the healthcare bill proposed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), are giving President Trump the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the process of honoring his campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“We have no doubt President Trump is on our side,” Tom Zawistowski, president of the We the People Convention and long-time Ohio Tea Party leader, tells Breitbart News.
“This is between the Tea Party movement and the conservative movement, on the one hand, and establishment Republicans, on the other hand,” the veteran Tea Party activist adds.
“We’ve seen this act before,” Zawistowski notes.
“Give us the House, we need the Senate, they say. Give us the Senate, we need the White House. Give us the White House, we need 60 votes in the Senate,” Zawistowski says.
“We’re not playing these games any more,” he declares.
“They can’t pass their bill without us. We won’t pass their bill unless we get what we want, need, and deserve — full repeal of Obamacare, and free market replacement. The Art of the Deal says people who can afford to walk away from the table win. Trump needs a deal and he needs to support our position to get one,” Zawistowski concludes.
Other Tea Party activists around the country share Zawistowski’s trust in Trump.
“I certainly understand what I believe to be the strategy of a phased approach. President Trump and Speaker Ryan have talked about a three phased approach to repeal and replace Obamacare. I understand it’s a complex issue. I trust this president,” Mark Skoda, founder of America First Tennessee and organizer of the March 4 pro-Trump Spirit of America rally in Nashville, tells Breitbart News.
“My biggest concern is that they aren’t killing the regulation. If you don’t kill the regulation, then the possibility is for another president to reinstate some form of Obamacare through that regulatory structure. I’m also concerned, as Sen. Rand Paul has suggested, that the current proposal is, in effect, a de facto continuation of the individual mandate,” Skoda adds.
“I’ve been telling people to calm down and be a little bit more strategic,” Bill Hennessy, founder of the St. Louis Tea Party, tells Breitbart News.
“Donald Trump is a better negotiator than anyone in Congress,” Hennessy says.
“The establishment thought President Trump was out of his mind when he announced he was running for president. They thought he was out of his mind when he promised to build a wall. One thing President Trump has shown, he always knows what he’s doing when it comes to setting the table for negotiations,” Hennessy concludes.
“I started out as ‘Never-Trump’ and became a Trump supporter because President Trump kept his word,” Judson Phillips, founder and president of Tea Party Nation tells Breibart News.
“President Trump promised us there will be a repeal of Obamacare, and I believe he will keep his word on that,” Phillips adds.
“What Speaker Ryan and the establishment Republicans need to realize is this: they are destroying what little good will they have with the conservative movement. That is a fight they do not wish to have. It is a fight they will end up losing long-term,” he says.
“They needed the Tea Party to take the House, take the Senate, and take the White House. If they do what they do best, which is selling out the conservative base, they will find themselves in the minority in the House and in the Senate,” Phillips concludes.