President Donald Trump didn’t have to issue his threat seriously — “I’m gonna come after you,” he said jokingly to a ringleader of House GOP hardliners opposing his health care bill — to be taken seriously by the 200 Republicans gathered in the Capitol basement.
For a president with a penchant for vengeance – who named “an eye for an eye” as his favorite biblical passage, who banned media outlets from campaign events when he didn’t approve of their coverage, who ousted a GOP state chairman after the election whom he viewed as disloyal, who reminded a GOP governor just last week who didn’t endorse him that “I never forget” – the roll call vote on the Republican health care plan, expected Thursday, will be the first accounting of who’s with him and who’s against him on Capitol Hill.
Those close to Trump describe his largely binary world view: you’re either on Team Trump or against Team Trump. “Get even with people,” Trump outlined his philosophy in a 2011 speech. “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.”
The president may be ideologically flexible, even to the point of disinterest, on the particulars of the health care legislation. But Trump’s been clear and consistent about one message: He wants it done.