For years, when President Trump pitched a new property that had his name in glittering gold letters above the door, he would throw himself into the sale: showy appearances with an entourage and a rush of boastful television interviews.
But the Republican proposal to revise the Affordable Care Act is not a hotel — and Trump’s salesmanship has been understated by comparison.
There is still urgency in his efforts, just markedly less Trump. And the administration is being cagey about its branding.
“I’ll let others provide a description for it. I prefer to call it patient care,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said this week with a slight smile, when asked whether he sees the plan as “Trumpcare.”
Absent, for now, are the skewering tweets, the raging news conferences and the combative speeches. Instead, Trump is quietly courting wary conservatives in private meetings and keeping himself somewhat out of the picture as party leaders and his Cabinet officials defend the plan.
Trump is spending time listening to critics and on-the-fence lawmakers as they vent, which is what he did Wednesday evening when right-wing leaders stopped by and when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and his wife joined Trump later for dinner, White House officials said. The president also may travel to Kentucky on Saturday, shining a spotlight on the bill’s most dedicated Republican foe, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — though Paul says he is not budging.
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