Earnest was unveiled on NBC’s Today show, where he told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie that Donald Trump learned, with the failure of the GOP’s Trumpcare bill, that governing is more complicated that campaigning.
“At the top,” Earnest responded when asked where the buck stops on that flop.
Trump’s fallback position that he will just let Obamacare implode is not going to sit well with voters who “expect you to solve problems, not just idly stand by while people get hurt,” Earnest warned.
“The one unifying principal of congressional Republicans over the last 10 years has been an instinctive, reflective opposition to everything related to President Obama,” Earnest said in his debut. “That’s why it was easy for them to vote to repeal Obamacare. But when it came to replacing it, to building a coalition to do something positive for the country, there is no consensus in the Republican Party.”
Dems, he added, discovered they are holding a “much stronger hand” than they thought they did 60-ish days earlier, when Trump took office. “They don’t have to fold to Republicans.”
Asked if any relationship between Obama and Trump is toast since Trump began accusing Obama of having committed a felony, Earnest answered carefully that he was not aware of Obama having had any conversations with Trump since the latter took office, but the phones still work.
Here is the staff memo from NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and MSNBC President Phil Griffin:
We are pleased to announce that Josh Earnest will join NBC News and MSNBC as a Political Analyst. As you may have seen, he made his debut this morning on Today and Morning Joe.
Josh recently completed a ten-year run with President Obama, most recently serving as White House Press Secretary from 2014-2017.
Josh joined the Obama presidential campaign in March 2007 as the Iowa communications director, and went on to serve as deputy communications director during the 2008 general election. Josh has also worked on numerous national, statewide and local campaigns over the course of his twenty years in politics.
A native of Kansas City, Josh graduated from Rice University with a degree in political science and policy studies.
With his wealth of experience and insight, Josh will be a great addition to our roster of contributors and will be an asset for our two networks as we continue to cover the White House, Congress and politics beyond the Beltway.
Please join us in welcoming Josh.
Noah and Phil
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.