- The Washington Times
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Rep. Jim Jordan is taking President Trump’s threat to primary members of the House Freedom Caucus in stride, saying a little competition is never a bad thing.

“Competition is fine,” Mr. Jordan said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’ve never shied away from competition. If that’s what happens, that’s what happens.”

Mr. Trump blamed the 32-member conservative caucus for the demise of the American Health Care Act, which Republican leadership withdrew last month without a vote amid strong bipartisan opposition.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

In another tweet Thursday, the president singled out for criticism Mr. Jordan, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. piled on, urging Trump supporters in a tweet Saturday to primary Mr. Amash in 2018.

Mr. Jordan said he’s more concerned with repealing Obamacare than the threat of a primary.

“Justin Amash is a good friend and one of the most principled members of Congress,” Mr. Jordan said. “And, frankly, if he is primaried, I’m going to do everything I can to help him. But what concerns me more than this threat of primaries is keeping our word with the American people.”

The Ohio Republican attributed the failure of the health care bill to a flawed roll out.

“Maybe instead of hiding the bill away, rolling it out four weeks ago, having hearings where there are no witnesses who actually testify, where there are no amendments allowed to be offered, no amendments accepted, maybe we need to do the process right,” he said. “And maybe if we do, we’ll develop a product that more than 17 percent of the country actually approves of.”

He also mocked House Speaker Paul Ryan’s suggestion that the GOP had allowed the “perfect to become the enemy of the good” by rejecting the health care bill.

“Jake, since when did ‘good’ get defined at 17 percent approval rating?” Mr. Jordan told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Come on.”

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.