Fox News host Sean Hannity uncharacteristically disagreed with President Donald Trump on Thursday and explained why he was wrong to blame the conservative Freedom Caucus for the House's failure to pass the American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare.
"Let's start with the Republican leadership plan to repeal and replace Obamacare stalled in Congress," Hannity began. "Well, the mainstream media wants you to believe the Trump presidency is dead in the water. Since taking office, the president has been checking off, look at that, all the items on his list, all of his campaign promises one by one.
"Now, it's very obvious that the president has been moving very fast and effectively," he explained, "at what I call the 'speed of Trump.' And now after the Republican health care plan did stall in the House with in-fighting in the Republican party, there is a danger that could undermine the president's agenda.
"Now earlier today," Hannity continued, "the president tweeted, 'the Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, and fast. We must fight them, and Dems, in 2018!' Now the president's clearly frustrated with this division in the Republican party. On this show, we promised, we're holding everyone in Washington accountable.
"For seven long years," he said, "the GOP ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare. They said, 'Give us the House,' they got that in 2010. 'Give us the House and Senate,' they got it in 2014. 'Give us the House, Senate and the presidency,' they got that on November 8th, they got their wish."
"Now in my opinion," Hannity continued, "it's not the Freedom Caucus that's responsible for the GOP failure in this case to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now this legislation was flawed from the beginning. It was created behind closed doors. Not one single member saw the bill until it was rolled out. And that made it a disaster."
Now I don't know who's telling the White House to focus their anger on the Freedom Caucus, but I do think it's misplaced. Because the Freedom Caucus, I've talked to them, they want to make a deal, and they want the win for the president and the country. So my advice tonight to Speaker Ryan and to Congress is simple. House leadershi,p you need to get all the differing factions in your caucus together.
"Get them together with senators like Rand Paul and Mike Lee, Mitch McConnell, Secretary Price," Hannity advised, "I've said this before: Get all the factions, the moderates, the Tuesday Group, the Study Group, the Freedom Caucus; get everybody in a room, lock the door, order pizza, get beer, get ice cream. I don't care if you include coloring books. Get a consensus bill like you've been promising the country for eight years, and get it done and get it on the president's desk."
"That is your mission," Hannity concluded. "Follow your mission, and your promise. It's not ideology. It's what's good for the American people and the promise you made to everybody."
Hannity was referring to tweets that the president sent accusing the Freedom Caucus of killing the Obamacare replacement bill. Newt Gingrich also put the blame squarely on the GOP establishment, saying that the bill was poorly written and conceived.
In the wake of the bill's failure, Trump outlined his plan to let Obamacare continue to collapse and "explode," saying that Democrats would come to him asking for a deal. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that they would be willing to work with Trump, but only if repeal of the bill was off the table.
For his part, Ryan rejected the idea of working with Democrats, saying it would lead to legislation where health care is controlled by the government.