Republican audiences have heard Donald Trump repeat a standard line in his 2018 stump speech: "If Democrats gain power, they'll also be planning a takeover of American health care and that would be socialism, what they want to do. The Democrat plan would obliterate Medicare." Just over the last week, the president has repeated this, practically word for word, in West Virginia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana.
The rhetoric is, of course, wrong -- and not altogether coherent. Expanding Medicare to include the rest of the country is not "obliterating" the system. For that matter, it's odd to hear the Republican pretend to champion Medicare and condemn Medicare as "socialism" at the same time.
Last night in Missouri, however, Trump switched things up a bit. From the transcript:
"If Democrats gain power on Tuesday, one of their very first projects will be a socialist takeover of American health care. You know what's happening. And your taxes are going to triple, maybe quadruple. You're not going to be happy. I know you well."The Democrat plan would obliterate Obamacare. It will also -- which is good -- but leave the bad parts behind."
Yes, on the eve of a critical midterm election cycle, Donald Trump warned voters that Democrats intend to tear down their own health care law, which the president has spent much of the last two years trying to tear down.
After reading the transcripts of every other speech Trump has delivered for a while, I have a hunch he just slipped. The president probably meant to say Democrats would "obliterate Medicare" -- which is also wrong -- but he accidentally said "Obamacare" instead.
Trump could've easily paused to correct himself, but to do so would've meant admitting a mistake. Instead, he pretended that he meant to say that, and then tried to quickly come up with a rationalization, saying it's a "good" thing that Democrats would "obliterate" the Affordable Care Act, though those rascally Dems apparently intend to "leave the bad parts behind."
What "parts"? Don't ask Trump; he doesn't appear to have any idea what he's saying.