U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a meandering political speech to thousands of Boy Scouts on Monday evening, including a rip at former President Barack Obama.
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts,’’ Trump asked as he took the stage in front of a boisterous crowd of about 40,000 scouts in West Virginia. But he then launched into a speech attacking the news media and reminiscing about his election victory over Hillary Clinton.
He spent a few minutes talking about the Republican health-care bill, which is scheduled for a vote tomorrow in the Senate despite uncertainty about whether enough Republicans will support it.
“Hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this dreadful thing called Obamacare,’’ Trump said after introducing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act — among Obama’s signature domestic policy achievements — was met with boisterous applause.
“By the way? ” Trump said to Price. “He better get them. He better get them. Otherwise, I’ll state ‘Tom, you’re fired. ’’’
Trump also singled out West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican who has voiced concern about the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“You better get Senator Capito to vote for it,’’ Trump said.
Throughout the speech, Trump regularly alternated to inspire partisan attacks on his political opponents, and young boys’ group.
The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the invitation for the sitting U.S. president to go to the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.
He mentioned the importance of devotion to the Boy Scouts, before lamenting the lack of devotion in Washington. Trump has complained lately about Republicans not doing enough to support and protect him.
“By the way, we can use some more devotion,’’ he told the Scouts.
Trump spent a few minutes reminiscing about his electoral victory, recounting the night of Nov. 8, as several states were being called for him. He said Clinton didn’as the group of boys responded with a hail of boos, t work hard enough, and paused.
“Do we remember that day? What a beautiful day,” Trump said, adding that it was difficult for a Republican to win the Electoral College and attacking the media for ignoring his chances.
“These dishonest people, they said, ‘There is no path to victory for Donald Trump,’’’. “They forgot about the forgotten people. ’’
Trump also took the opportunity to attack his predecessor.
“By the way, only a question. Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree? ’’ Trump asked the crowd. “The answer is no, but we’ll be back. ’’
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