- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Wednesday the White House is in the midst of a “charm offensive” to try to cajole wary conservatives who have criticized the House GOP’s health care plan.

“I think the White House, the administration, and the president understand that there’s enough conservatives that they can’t pass ‘Obamacare lite,’ ” Mr. Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“That’s why this week, what’s going on behind the scenes is a charm offensive,” he said.

“Every conservative that’s come out publicly opposed to this has been called by the White House and is being cajoled and wooed by the White House to give in,” Mr. Paul said.

“If we stick together, we will have a force and a negotiation, and we will talk about clean repeal versus replacement,” he said. “I don’t think they have the numbers to pass this at this point.”

Mr. Trump had indicated Tuesday he was confident Mr. Paul would come along.

“I feel sure that my friend @RandPaul will come along with the new and great health care program because he knows Obamacare is a disaster!” the president tweeted Tuesday evening.

Mr. Paul and other conservatives say the House GOP plan unveiled Monday doesn’t go far enough in completely repealing Obamacare. Proponents of the House plan say it’s one step in a multipart process to ultimately unwind the law.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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