Republicans bought into Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed negotiating skills as a “dealmaker” when they accepted that he would become the next president and leader of their party.
Now, after nine months of broken agreements and failed deals they now consider him untrustworthy, chronically inconsistent and too easily distracted to stay on point.
An irritating example is the deal to keep subsidies in place on Obamacare until a better solution came along. Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray thought they had Trump’s agreement to support the effort. Then he backed off.
“There was a lot of momentum building for Lamar’s effort, until the president changed his mind after encouraging him twice to move ahead,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told The Washington Post. “You know, who knows where he’ll be? Maybe where he is this very second?”
Tony Schwartz, who co-wrote “The Art of the Deal” with Trump, says the negotiating tactics of the billionaire is not always ethical.
Schwartz says Trump believes “I am relentless and I am not concerned that what I’m doing is ethical or truthful or fair.”
Trump promised quick actions on repeal of “Obamacare” along with rapid construction of his Mexican border wall and creation of jobs.
None of it happened. He blames his many failures on Congress, especially the Republican party he expected to genuflect before his every wish.
Lawmakers shrug off his charges, answering that he’s a neophyte who does not understand the system.
“He shouts a lot. He threatens people, insults them and then expects you to call him ‘great,” says one Senator. “That’s not going to happen with most of us in this chamber.”
“He’s a guy who, you know, comes from the business world and he’s in a hurry to get things done,” Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) tells the Post. “Around here, that’s hard. You know, things take a while. So it’s a process — and sometimes, kind of a slow and painful one.”
Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota says she has met with Trump five times to discuss his tax plan.
“I still don’t know what it is,” she says.
Schwartz says the best way to deal with Trump is by appealing to his large ego. He has to dominate every conversation and be “perceived as having won.”
“Trump is motivated by the same concern in all situations, which is to dominate and to be perceived as having won,” Schwartz adds. “That supersedes everything, including ideology.”
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