Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) acknowledged Friday that he was not truthful when he said he was “not completely sold” on the first version of the Republican bill to partially repeal Obamacare.
Back in March, Buck told 9NEWS in a recorded phone interview that he was undecided on the bill moments after it was pulled from the House floor-- but then wrote an op-ed days later for The Hill in which he claimed, “I supported the American Health Care Act last Friday because it was the right vote.”
The piece in The Hill got the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “Great op-ed from @RepKenBuck. Looks like some in the Freedom Caucus are helping me end #Obamacare.”
Speaking with 9NEWS political reporter Brandon Rittiman for Sunday’s Balance of Power, Buck says he was actually in favor of the bill but gave a misleading answer to 9NEWS in the moments after its failure.
Buck says he did that because leaders of the House Freedom Caucus had asked him not to publicly share his support.
“The [Freedom Caucus] leadership asked me not to talk to anybody about that because they were negotiating a process with the Tuesday group, a more moderate group of Republicans,” Buck said. “I felt when I gave my word to the leadership of that Freedom Caucus that I was not going to undermine their position, their negotiating position.”
FULL CLIP: Buck explains his healthcare flip-flop
Asked whether he would have been better off simply saying he couldn’t share his position, Buck replied, “I could have done that, and maybe I should have done that, but I felt I was trying to use language which didn’t say that I was for it or against it.”
Buck says we’ll be able to trust his answers in the future when he takes public positions on issues.
9NEWS attempted to get answers to these questions from Buck in a scheduled interview for Next with Kyle Clark, which Buck canceled hours before it was to take place.
Then, in an unscheduled interview at the congressman’s DC office, Buck mischaracterized our reporting on his statements and ducked out of the building before we could ask about his dual stances on the issue.
Buck did vote yes on the second version of the GOP healthcare bill, which is now heading to the Senate.
He sat down to discuss the issue alongside Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) for this upcoming Sunday’s Balance of Power.
Balance of Power airs every Sunday at 8:50 a.m. on 9NEWS, right before NBC’s Meet the Press. Episodes and extended interviews are posted on Sundays to 9NEWS.com.
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