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GOP congressman: Speaker Ryan should be 'very concerned about' House Freedom Caucus' 'mob mentality

Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner said the conservative House Freedom Caucus has a "mob mentality" and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is "going to have to address" that at some point. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner said Monday that the conservative House Freedom Caucus has a "mob mentality" that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is "going to have to address" at some point.

During an interview on CNN, co-host John Berman asked the moderate GOP congressman if the coalition of conservative House Republicans makes his job "harder."

Turner didn't pull any punches with his answer:

Absolutely, and I think the speaker is beginning to see that there is some great difficulty in having one group that organizes themselves in a fashion where they view themselves as separate from the rest of the conference or separate from Congress themselves.

They're not acting individually. They're having a group or mob mentality that I think is something the speaker's going to have to address, whether it's this bill or anything else moving forward. The speaker's going to have to address this issue or he will be dealing with gridlock, not just in Congress but in the House.

"Mob mentality?" co-host Poppy Harlow asked.

Turner replied, "When you get a group together that says, 'We're going to pledge voting together,' I think it certainly is a group that has characteristics that the speaker needs to be very concerned about."

The comment came just three days after Ryan said he didn't have the votes within his own party to pass the American Health Care Act, the first major legislative effort of President Donald Trump's administration to replace Obamacare, through the lower chamber. Many members of the Freedom Caucus had vowed to vote against the AHCA.

Over the weekend, Trump blamed conservatives for own administration's inability to work with House leadership and pass the AHCA.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

Ryan addressed reporters Friday on his party's inability to pass a health care bill, saying, “Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains. We’re feeling those growing pains today. We came really close today, but we came up short."

“This is a setback, no two ways about it, but this is not the end of the story," Ryan added, noting that Obamacare remains "the law of the land."

Trump also signaled that Republicans won't be crafting another replacement bill before Obamacare "ceases to exist" by imploding. Shifting blame for Obamacare's failures to Democrats, Trump said Friday:

They own it, 100 percent own it. And this is not a Republican health care [law]. This is not anything but a Democrat health care [law]. And they have Obamacare for a little while longer, until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember this is not our bill, this is their bill.

The approach is one that moderate Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) recently suggested that Republicans should take.

“What I would suggest,” Graham told TheBlaze a week earlier, “is if we can’t improve the House bill, and I would urge the speaker to let the Freedom Caucus have the relevant votes, that we let this program, designed by Democrats exclusively, voted on by Democrats exclusively, fail, and challenge Democrats to help clean up the mess they created. That’s the only way you’ll get a bipartisan result is collapse and replace.”

[graphiq id="dDp27Az773n" title="Republican Lawmakers Expressing Concern With the AHCA" width="600" height="638" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/dDp27Az773n" ]

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