Sweeping aside Democratic and media criticisms that President Trump is a weak and disengaged leader, the No. 2 House Republican said Thursday that the new president has with unusual speed collected several domestic and foreign victories that should be celebrated.
"This president has changed the course," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
"Think about what you just had in the last eight years, to change the course this quickly, I give him a great amount of success," he told a gathering of the centrist Republican Ripon Society.
"I mean he's really changed the course. Some of my advice to him — he works so many hours and so fast – is that, 'You should celebrate some of the things you've done so the rest of the country can see it, too,'" he added on a day when the House overcame earlier squabbles and passed a partial repeal of Obamacare, a top Trump and GOP 2016 campaign pledge.
McCarthy portrayed an engaged president that is at odds with many of the media accounts of his administration.
"I've never seen a president and a vice president engaged so much and making so many calls and so many meetings. I mean, yesterday I walk in and the president's calling me and he's telling me the names of the people he thinks I'm best at getting [to help approve repeal of Obamacare], now I agree with you [Trump]. He is engaged, and he's talking about the policies...this is a man who's engaged all the way through," said the California lawmaker.
He also pointed to the president's foreign policy moves and his crackdown on Obama-era regulations as wins.
"You've watched countries around the world celebrate his leadership. Yeah, they're some who've complained: North Korea, Iran and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Those are the people I want complaining about the United States of America," said McCarthy.
And he joined with some in the White House to dismiss Democratic claims of victory in the budget vote to declare that Trump and the GOP also got big wins, including over $1 billion for border security.
"And I think it really shows the strength of where this president is. He's getting victories, he realizes you live in a in country where you don't get 100 percent of what you want, but you set a course and you grab and you continue forward," said McCarthy.
The result is progress, he added, dismissing failing 100 Day report cards. "I don't think America has seen the real actions of Donald Trump. And the idea that we're going to grade him on 100 days? They haven't given him his full cabinet in that time. No other president has had to wait that long. What he's been able to move through – and, really, the engagement in the first 100 days — I would look at in terms of foreign policy, because that's truly the president's realm that they can do without having them to wait on Congress and the Senate. You look at the CRA's [regulatory repeal], the others only had one. I mean he's really changed the course."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com