Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC) went on CNN’s State of the Union program and confirmed earlier reports of President Trump’s threat to primary representatives if they did not vote for Trump’s replacement to the Affordable Care Act:
“He [Trump] sent as his emissary Mick Mulvaney, who I’ve known for a long time – he’s from our state, and he’s now the OMB director – he said: ‘The president hopes you vote against this because he wants to run somebody against you if you do…”
Representative Sanford went on and explained to the host, Dana Bash, why he wasn’t afraid of Trump’s threat to primary him:
“Well no, it’s not that. It doesn’t make anybody’s day when the President of the United States says: ‘I wanna take you out.’ But what I would say is I don’t work for him, I work for about 750,000 people here in the first congressional district.
I’ve had eight town hall meetings – I finished my eighth one just this week – over the last couple of months, and what I’ve heard from people at a level that I’ve never before heard in the world of politics is that people care deeply about this issue, it impacts them directly and very personally, and we better get it right. And the idea of checking the box saying: ‘We dealt with healthcare,’ but not taking into account both considerations to the left and the right on this one, I think, ultimately – not my job.
My job is to watch out for the folks that I’m hearing from here at home, and to induce conservative ideals that I ran on, and I’m trying to do just that.”
Mark Sanford is right. The job of a Representative is to do the job that the people elected him to do; not to be the President’s yes man.
This new report should come as no surprise because of who Trump is but it does raise some questions about Trump because in the end, ACHA was defeated. Is Trump really a good negotiator? Does he still have some power left to keep Republicans from outright defying him? And lastly and more importantly, will Trump follow through on his threat to primary those that did defied him?