EghtesadOnline: 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 then he launched into a speech attacking the news media and reminiscing about his election victory over Hillary Clinton, Bloomberg reported.
He spent several 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 horrible thing known as Obamacare,’’ Trump said after introducing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Trump’s attack on the Affordable Care Act -- one of Obama’s signature domestic policy achievements -- was met with boisterous applause among the crowd of boys.
“By the way, you going to get the votes?” Trump said to Price. “He better get them. He better get them. Otherwise, I’ll say ‘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.
During the speech, Trump regularly alternated between apolitical comments to inspire the group of young boys, and deeply partisan attacks on his political opponents.
The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the invitation for the sitting U.S. president to visit 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 loyalty to the Boy Scouts, before lamenting the lack of loyalty in Washington. Trump has complained in recent days about Republicans not doing enough to support and protect him.
“By the way, we could use some more loyalty,’’ he told the Scouts.
Trump spent several minutes reminiscing about his electoral victory, recounting the night of Nov. 8, as several states were being called for him. He said Clinton didn’t work hard enough, and paused as the group of boys responded with a hail of boos.
“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 discounting his chances.
“These dishonest people, they said, ‘There is no path to victory for Donald Trump,’’’ he said. “They forgot about the forgotten people.’’
Trump also took the opportunity to attack his predecessor.
“By the way, just a question. Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?’’ Trump asked the crowd. “The answer is no, but we’ll be back.’’