— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) April 27, 2017
Rep. Ken Buck has struggled recently to explain a major contradiction in his statements about the American Health Care Act, a.k.a. “Trumpcare”–in the immediate aftermath of the bill’s failure in late March, Buck had told 9NEWS reporters that he was not “sold” on the bill, but then changed his story to claim he had always supported the bill in an op-ed. After that op-ed was Tweeted out by none other than President Donald Trump himself, 9NEWS tried to circle back with Rep. Buck to get an explanation.
And as readers know, Rep. Buck cancelled on 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark at the last minute.
Well, last night 9NEWS aired their followup to the story. Reporter Brandon Rittiman went to Washington to get a straight answer out of Buck, and…well, he wasn’tcompletely successful:
When Congressman Ken Buck cancels an interview set up 10 days in advance, giving us just a few hours notice, and then won’t commit to another time, we go ‘Buck hunting.’
Political Reporter Brandon Rittiman met up with the Fourth Congressional District Representative on Wednesday outside of his office in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
That interview lasted less than two minutes, included a ride in an elevator and ended with Buck walking away…
“What you said was that the president tweeted something that made me change my opinion, and you know all along that I had told people within a few hours after I had talked to you, that I as going to vote yes on it,” said Buck. “The president’s tweet had nothing to do with my position.”
Actually, that’s not true.
The American Health Care Act was pulled from the House floor before receiving a vote late last month.
Immediately after the bill was pulled, Buck told 9NEWS he remained undecided.
In the end, Rittiman wasn’t able to get an answer explaining Buck’s clear contradiction, but Buck’s weird misdirection about Trump’s Tweet bought him a few extra seconds to get past Capitol security–where Rittiman couldn’t follow. Buck didn’t change his story in response to Trump’s Tweet, he changed it before the Tweet in the op-ed Trump later posted–but obviously that doesn’t make it any less of a contradiction.
Buck certainly didn’t come out of this looking like a statesman, and his flip-flop is a metaphor for the struggle of his entire party to keep their dead-horse promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act: something the American people no longer want, and for which Republicans can no longer claim to have a better alternative.
And for a guy who says he wants to “drain the swamp,” Buck sure knows how to hide in one.