Megan Murphy: Trump has 'almost intentionally removed himself' from health care battle

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics "This Week."
13:36 | 07/16/17

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Transcript for Megan Murphy: Trump has 'almost intentionally removed himself' from health care battle
Right now, we have no consensus on how the repeal and replace the failed policies of Obamacare. I can't tell you the number of hours I have heard the same arguments go around and around and around and around. As far as I know, there's no consensus on how the pass the government. They'll be going around and around a while longer after that vote on health care was delayed after senator John McCain recovers from surgery. Abby Phillip, Bloomberg business wooek editor Megan Murphy, Republican strategist and former trump campaign team member Michael Caputo. And ABC news political analyst Matthew dowd join us. How all-concerning is this? Why hasn't the president been owl selling his agenda, health care. The answer is, there's been a lot of other crises happening. Putting aside the foreign trips he spent the last couple of weeks overseas trying to do some things on foreign policy, beyond that, there is a real difficulty in getting thing on his schedule that are outside of Washington that involve pushing legislation and policy. And instead, we know what the president is doing with some of his time because he tweets about it almost every single morning. He seemed paralyzed by this, Megan. This is one of the dark eer moments of his presidency, seeing his son dragged into this. We went three days, four days where the president had nothing on his public schedule. He has almost intentionally removed himself. We're in the middle of an epic battle about what should be the signature legislative information he's putting in place. Other than tweets from the sideline saying, I think Mitch Mcconnell can get it done. We're seeing Mitch Mcconnell is probably not going to get this done. He's so angry. So all-consumed. You saw again, the Hillary Clinton tweets again. The fake news tweets. He mentioned Michael. He mentioned Michael. It's of their own creation. It's getting closer and closer. The family is being drawn in deeper and deeper and deeper. The don Jr. Revelations continue to come out. Who was in the meeting. Who wasn't. It will be another week dominated by Russia. Not dominated by the things that American people care about, improving their wages. Getting better jobs. Lowering their taxes. The thing this administration said they were going to come in and do, they are not doing week after week after week. Michael, we hear the complaint that the media is obsessed with the Russia investigation. Not talking about substance. If you look at what the president has been talking about, he's not been out there using the bully pulpit. Is there it's true. In August of 2016 or so, it became clear that the Hillary Clinton campaign had cracked the code. They knew how to distract the president. They've gotten better at it. We know from "Shattered" and other sources. This has been planned as a way to stop the president's agenda. As a cynical political operative, I admire their effectiveness. As a citizen of the united States, I fear for the Republican. How does the white house get back on message? How does the president get back on message? I think they're doing it. They've separated the crisis out into an outside unit. It works. We have to get the wheels rolling so it works well. I think they're on their way. He's been extraordinary. When you were at the campaign, president, then-candidate trump held press conferences. Did interviews. He hasn't had a full-blown press conference since February. The white house briefings have been reduced the a couple a week. Most are not on camera. You're not longered a sizing that team. I would imagine -- that doesn't play to trump's strengths, does it? I now advise CEOs and business leaders. The CEOs I talk to are pleased with the agenda that the president is pursuing on regulatory reform. Energy. Extremely successful on natural gas development. The CEOs who create jobs. But they're hiding them. You don't see the president or his spokespeople. That's what they need to do. They need to start talking about this. The problem is not that the Democrats had a great strategy. They didn't have a great sfrat ji to win an election. The problem is the principal. Donald Trump is the main person that takes him off the message that everybody else in the white house and the vice president and the Republicans in congress seem to want to follow. And get in -- every time he announces a week of infrom structure, he goes off on Twitter tirade. He has a foreign trip, goes off on something ems. Multiple foreign trips. The president is ultimately the problem. It's not reflected. Everything that the trump administration, his spokes people, people that advocated him is not affected out in America. Two-thirds of the country think the country is off on the wrong track. If they're doing good things, nobody in America knows it. But, Abby, the polls also shows that Democrats have hardly seized the reins here. The Democrat party is a little bit adrift. It's like they're in a target-rich environment. They're dealing with so many things they want to jump on, and no one is is really focusing their attention on a message that they think can work. There's no leader of the democratic party right now who can help set that agenda. As a result, in part, the Russia scandal, has become the dominant story when some Democrats say we should be undermining trump on the economic piece. In this poll, his vongest front. The Democrats have been thrown off their game. I want to go back to -- It's a whole Washington, D.C., thing, I have to say is like a marvel comics movie. With all villains and no superheroes. Not a single superhero in Washington, D.C., that the American public thinks are on track. We don't want a superhero. How about one profile if courage? Just one. You said it's a target-rich environment. The democratic party is not hitting a target. They have one of the easiest ones in front of them. Only 40% of the people in the poll agree with how Donald Trump is handling the economy. This is the defining issue in most American homes the. What is my future? How do I get a better job? When is my pay packet going to go up? You mentioned CEOs being happy? I can tell you one who is not. Jamie Dimon. People want tax reform. They want stuff better for their business. They don't see meaningful reform that will change the everyday economic environment. Struggling families. Working to get their kids into college. Working for better jobs. This is what he always should have focused on. I disagree. I think the more -- Americans are not interested in specific policy debate. I think the Democrats, if they were smart, would run on the exact same thing George W. Bush ran on and didn't do. The same thing Barack Obama ran on and didn't do. The same thing Donald Trump ran on and hasn't done. How do you deal with the total dysfunction in Washington and get together and solve a problem? The Democrats are doing great in their mind by saying he's bad, he's bad, he's bad, he's worse than us. The American public thinks you're all bad. How are you going to figure out how the fix the problem in Washington, D.C., that everybody seems to run on. As someone who does not live inside the beltway. They must will have to have you here. I used to live here. I spent a lot of time here. You would go to the monacle and see Democrats drinking are Republicans. You saw them marry each other. Remember Mary matalin. I now live in the hinterlands and the flyover country, we look at this and see America is lost. We're lost in the vastness. What happened to the day when we worked as team? Jack Kemp's birthday was Thursday. He looked as legislators as a team. I'm not sure we can get back to it. You're here because you had to testify before the house intelligence committee. I want to get to a mystery here. There's been a lot of attention to this speech that Donald Trump gave just before the meeting in trump tower. Where he said this. I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week. And we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going find it very informative and very, very interesting. Okay, so Abby, that speech didn't happen the following week, the week after that. The week after that. The week after that. What happened? I have yet to find a trump campaign aide that can explain what happened that day. What then-candidate trump was talking about. Why the speech didn't happen. No one seems to have an explanation for it. The key thing to know though is that a few hours before he gave that speech, don Jr. Finally confirmed a date and a time for this meeting he was going have for the people who told him basically going into the meeting that they would have dirt on Hillary Clinton and it was part of the Russian government's efforts to help Donald Trump. Those are the facts. There are no explanations. You were there. What happened to the speech? My job when I was in trump tower was developing message. Talking points. That time, we were in a big deep dive on all kinds of things Hillary. If you remember, I got caught researching white water because hope hicks in the campaign e-mailed mark caput of of politico instead of Michael Caputo. We were putting things on the books that were on record. That is not the only speech he talked about that did not happen. A lot of things we hoped to do didn't happen. You would think picking on Hillary Clinton would happen quick. Russia didn't help Donald Trump. Then we discovered he tried to help Donald Trump. There was no meetings, now we know there were meetings. There's though collusion, it's not illegal. Now we're having a debate on that. I have been involved in two presidential campaigns. I have talked to people in the last 25 years. No one has every attended a meeting like this or been involved in something like this. Michael, I know you had nothing to do with this meeting. The president's tweeted about you this morning. Let's take a look that. Thank you to former campaign adviser Michael Caputo for saying so powerfully that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign. You would acknowledge you wouldn't necessarily know, right? I know about myself. I know about my friends, Roger stone and Paul manafort. They would never do anything like this. I know about Donald Trump. I spent time with him years before the election. Talking about his love of country and how thankful he is for what the country has done for him. I don't believe he would tolerate in his ranks. I wasn't in the dominant coalition. I wasn't in all the meetings. We see mistakes made by don Jr. And general Flynn. In the end of all of this, when we discover no crimes have been committed, we have to dial down the rhetoric. I get called a traitor every 60 seconds on Twitter. I'm a veteran of the U.S. Army infan industry. When you call someone a traitor, people buy weapons and we start shooting. We have on to stop this before someone else gets shot. There's an explain nation that people are worried that Donald Trump and his people seemingly being in close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Viewed by most people as a totalitarian in a state that is our adversary. We're out of time. Thank you very much. We'll be right back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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