The public relationship between Chuck Schumer and Donald Trump is disintegrating rapidly, after Trump repeatedly called Schumer a “clown” and the Senate minority leader told the president-elect to quit the name-calling and get serious about health care reform.
It wasn’t long ago that Trump was saying nice things about Schumer, but that honeymoon period now appears over. Trump called Schumer the “head clown” for suggesting on Wednesday that Trump and the GOP will own Obamacare’s problems after they repeal it, and Schumer replied on Thursday that this is “serious, serious stuff.”
“People’s health is at stake, and peoples’ lives are at stake. We understand that President-elect Trump is in a difficult spot, that Republicans are in a difficult spot. They want to repeal [Obamacare] and have no idea how to replace it,” Schumer told reporters Thursday. “Instead of calling names, the president-elect should roll up his sleeves and show us a replacement plan that will cover the 20 million Americans who gained coverage.”
Schumer has kept his distance from Trump since the election, insisting that he’s not friends with Trump and maintaining that he rarely socialized with the business mogul on the New York social scene. Trump, meanwhile, has reportedly suggested privately to Schumer that he likes the Democrat better than some GOP leaders and ahead of the election said that the New York Democrat is “smarter” than retired Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
But Schumer’s new messaging slogan — that the GOP wants to “Make America Sick Again” — seems to have touched a nerve with Trump. On Wednesday, he urged the GOP not to let the “Schumer clowns” wriggle out of responsibility for Obamacare — then on Thursday stepped up his criticisms of the Democratic leader, who is hoping to forge a massive infrastructure deal with Trump later this year.