Rick Tyler, a political pundit and former aide to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has asserted that President Donald Trump's first term in office has already been neutralized after Senate Republicans were unable to corral enough votes to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare."
The last-ditch effort by GOP lawmakers July 27 to repeal the ACA through budget reconciliation came to a halt when three Senate Republicans voted against a so-called "skinny repeal," which would have eliminated or suspended several key provisions of the health care law.
On July 28, former Cruz aide Rick Tyler declared that the vote was a fatal blow to Trump's agenda.
"I think this presidency is effectively over," Tyler told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all voted against the skinny repeal bill. The Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, needed at least 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans to vote for the legislation to advance it to either the House or a conference.
Collins and Murkowski had been adamantly opposed to all of their party's replacement and repeal plans. McCain surprised the chamber when he joined his two Republican colleagues to vote against the skinny repeal, effectively derailing their party's hope of repealing the ACA for the foreseeable future, The Daily Beast reports.
In Tyler's view, Trump would not be able to recover from the legislative setback because he does not have the presidential temperament that his predecessors possessed.
"If you look back to different presidencies, you look at Bill Clinton," Tyler continued. "He had a rough first two years -- very, very difficult two years -- but after Oklahoma City he was able to regain his footing and become presidential until he slipped on a blue dress."
Tyler asserted that Trump was incapable of making the same pivot.
"But this president cannot change," Tyler said. "Nothing about his behavior tells me, since the beginning of this process, that he was going to change. And if you cannot change and you cannot become presidential, and you cannot convince the majority of the American people to enact some legislative agenda that he wants passed, his presidency, legislatively, is effectively over."
Tyler served as Cruz's communications director during the 2016 GOP primary. The Republican operative was fired from the campaign for circulating a fictional story about one of Cruz's competitors, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, according to The Hill.
Following the health care vote, Cruz pledged that his Republican colleagues would continue their efforts to repeal the ACA.
"Mark my words, this journey is not yet done," Cruz said, according to the BBC.