President Trump borrowed a page from his bestselling self-help book on Friday when he agreed to pull the American Health Care Act after failing to reach a deal with conservative and moderate Republicans who opposed the bill.
Critics were quick to charge that pulling the bill marked a devastating blow to Trump's reputation as a seasoned dealmaker, particularly after Republican lawmakers had nicknamed him "the closer" days before the House was expected to vote.
But Trump's 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, includes passages that seem to explain why he may have decided to abandon the AHCA after promising to accomplish healthcare reform in his first 100 days. For example, Trump wrote about the importance of being flexible, in words that mirrored his remarks on Friday after the bill was pulled.
"I never get too attached to one deal or one approach," he wrote then. "I keep a lot of balls in the air because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first."
Three decades later, the president sat in the Oval Office and calmly told reporters hours after pulling his own legislation that it's time to "let Obamacare go its own way for awhile."
Trump said the AHCA's failure could "turn out to be a good thing," claiming there wasn't much more that he or House Speaker Paul Ryan could have done to amend the AHCA without hemorrhaging support from the GOP's conservative or moderate factions.
By walking away from the deal on the table, Trump felt the GOP may have actually won. He told reporters that Obamacare will "implode" on its own and Democrats "now 100 percent own it."
"I tell you what's going to come out of this," he said. "An even better bill."
At a campaign speech in July – long before he was elected president or Republicans introduced their repeal-and-replace bill – Trump used another key lesson from his bestselling business classic to suggest that American allies could easily be persuaded to contribute more financially to their self-defense in the long-run if U.S. officials were more willing walk away.
The president appeared to approach Republicans' healthcare battle with the same philosophy, telling lawmakers late Thursday evening that he was done negotiating and ultimately deciding to pull the vote.