Republican leaders in the House pulled their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare from the floor on Friday afternoon once it became clear that it did not have the votes needed to pass. Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Donald Trump suggested that this was simply all part of his plan. “You've all heard my speeches,” he said. “I never said ‘repeal it and replace it within 64 days.’ I have a long time. But I want to have a great health care bill and plan—and we will and it will happen.”
Hmm. That doesn’t sound quite right.
Here is a small sampling of all the times Donald Trump promised that repealing and replacing Obamacare would be a quick and relatively painless lift, one that he would get to right away.
Jan. 24, 2015, in a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit:
“Somebody has to repeal and replace Obamacare. And they have to do it fast and not just talk about it.”
Feb. 9, 2016, on Twitter:
We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare - and nobody can do that like me. We will save $'s and have much better healthcare!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2016
Feb. 22, 2016, at a campaign rally:
“Obamacare is going to be repealed and replaced. … You’re going to end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that’s gonna take place immediately after we go in. Okay? Immediately. Fast. Quick.”
March 3, 2016, on his campaign website (on a page that has since been deleted):
“On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.”
Oct. 27, via the Detroit News:
“Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing Obamacare. What a mess,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd of thousands at the SeaGate Convention Center in downtown Toledo, his second of three Thursday rallies in Ohio.
Nov. 1, via Politico:
“When we win on Nov. 8 and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. We have to do it,” Trump said Tuesday afternoon in an address on the Affordable Care Act in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
“I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace,” he continued. “And it will be such an honor for me, for you and for everybody in this country because Obamacare has to be replaced. And we will do it, and we will do it very, very quickly. It is a catastrophe.”
Nov. 7, via Roll Call:
“Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare,” Trump told a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during his final campaign rally on Monday evening. “It has just been announced that the residents of Michigan are going to experience a massive, double-digit premium hike, like you wouldn’t believe. It’s not going to matter that much, honestly, because we’re going to terminate it. You’re not going to have to worry about it, OK? Don’t worry.”
Jan. 10, via the New York Times:
President-elect Donald J. Trump demanded on Tuesday that Congress immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass another health law quickly. His remarks put Republicans in the nearly impossible position of having only weeks to replace a health law that took nearly two years to pass.
“We have to get to business,” Mr. Trump told The New York Times in a telephone interview. “Obamacare has been a catastrophic event.” Mr. Trump appeared to be unclear both about the timing of already scheduled votes in Congress and about the difficulty of his demand — a repeal vote “probably some time next week” and a replacement “very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.”
Jan. 11, via Politico:
The president-elect, addressing reporters at a news conference in New York, said his administration will submit a plan to repeal and replace the law, known as Obamacare, “almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter” his pick for secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, is confirmed.
“It will be repeal and replace,” Trump said. “It will be essentially simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day. Could be the same hour.”
I guess in the president's defense, he's right: He never said 64 days.