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Trump Trounces “Hypocrite” McCain, Thinks Rand Paul “May Find A Way” To Save Obamacare Repeal Bill

In a surprising demonstration of wit, President Donald Trump told a crowd of rowdy Alabamians Friday night that it would be amusingly “ironic” if Kentucky Senator Rand Paul offered to vote for the Republicans’ floundering Graham-Cassidy health-care bill after John McCain blindsided the administration by withdrawing his support On Friday. The two senators, Trump explained, do not get along. And by swooping in to save the Republicans’ Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort at the last second, Paul would be coronated a hero.

After saying earlier this year that he is determined to win Paul’s vote on health-care, the president appears to be making good on his word, launching what appears to be a personal charm offensive to try and win the support of one of the most intransigent Republican senators. That campaign continued Saturday morning, when the president tweeted that he “might have” a way to finally win the Kentucky senator’s vote.

I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!

The tweet was part of a series about the Graham Cassidy bill, which was effectively killed on Friday when McCain withdrew his support. In the series, Trump took shots at McCain, and also Alaska Moderate Lisa Murkowski, who opposes the bill. The third Republican “no” vote belongs to Sen Susan Collins of Maine.

Trump began by bashing McCain for opposing repeal and replace after campaigning on repealing Obamacare during his most recent Senatorial bid. The president also warned that McCain’s decision could elicit substantial political backlash in his state as premiums skyrocket…although, given his recent brush with brain cancer, we doubt McCain is still motivated by these types of political considerations…particularly after opposing a bill sponsored by his close friend, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

In a plug for Graham Cassidy, Trump said adopting a system of large block grants to states would be “a good thing to do.”

In a shot at Murkowski, Trump tweeted that Alaskans would be angry after their premiums skyrocket 200%, implying that they would express that anger by voting against their senator. But “Lisa M” still has a chance to be a hero by changing her mind and voting for the bill.

So, has Trump found a way to save the repeal and replace effort by turning Paul? Maybe, maybe not. As the public is well aware, Trump is fond of bluffing.

Of course, the math is simple: Republicans have 52 seats and need 50 senators to support the bill, which would require Vice President Pence to break a tie, under the special budget rules being used to avoid a Democratic filibuster. The clock on those rules runs out at the end of the month, effectively closing the Republicans’ window to pass a repeal and replace bill – for now, at least.

Of course, on Friday, Paul reaffirmed his opposition to the bill in a series of tweets on Friday, saying he "wouldn't be bullied" into supporting it after Trump had admonished him via twitter earlier in the week.

That sounds like a "hard pass" to us.