TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) — President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership were dealt a big defeat Friday when they failed to secure the necessary votes for their health care overhaul bill.

Julian Zalizare, a political historian at Princeton University, told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell this exposes the president’s weaknesses.

“It shows the limits of President Trump’s skills and ability when it comes to legislation,” he said. 

Zalizare said he wonders if this emboldens the president’s opponents, including Republicans.

“This defeat will make the rest of the process even harder,” he added.

He called this devastating for the president.

“No matter how he spins it, this was a big defeat,” he said.

Trump blamed the Democrats, which didn’t come as a surprise to Congressman Bill Pascrell, D-NJ, Haskell reported.

“Yesterday, he was blaming Republicans, the day before he was blaming Speaker Ryan,” he said.

Pascrell said they were unable to drum up enough support, “because the bill stunk.” He said there were too many provisions stripped out.

[graphiq id=”aI4hBIaTx65″ title=”Republican Lawmakers’ Responses to the AHCA” width=”600″ height=”597″ url=”″ link=”″ link_text=”InsideGov | Graphiq” ]

WCBS 880 reached out to a number of local Republican leaders, but none would speak on the topic.