White House officials have been telling us that the repair-and-replace bill is more fluid than House leaders are portraying, and now we know what they mean.
- Trump, interviewed by Fox's Tucker Carlson in Detroit yesterday, said: "It's very preliminary ... A lot of things aren't consistent [with his campaign message of helping struggling workers]. But these are going to be negotiated. We've got to go to the Senate."
- Axios' Jonathan Swan pointed out that the remarks are striking because Speaker Ryan regards the package as a nearly finished product, although aides say some tweaks were always planned.
- Asked about a Bloomberg analysis with the headline, "Trump's Counties Lose Out to Clinton's in GOP Health Tax Cuts," Trump replied: "We will take care of our people or I'm not signing it, OK? Just so you understand. This is very preliminary."
- "I'm, in a little way, I'm an arbitrator. ... We got a lot of fighting going on."
Be smart: Trump sees and fears the rising unpopularity of the Ryan plan and will gladly accept whatever changes needed to get it through Congress — or drop the entire thing if looks like a political loser weeks or months from now.