Fresh from her announcement Friday that she will stay in the U.S. Senate and forgo a run for governor, Sen. Susan Collins went on national television Sunday morning to continue to push her moderate stance on health care reform and advise President Trump to mind his words.

Maine’s senior senator made appearances on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper and ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.

She used the interviews to advise Trump to be careful with his language and lend support for his decision not to recertify the Iran nuclear agreement.

The CNN show focused on Trump’s attempts last week to undo two cornerstone policies of the Obama years: the Affordable Care Act and the Iran nuclear deal. She followed an appearance by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who defended Trump’s decision not to certify the Iran agreement over nuclear arms development and throw the issue to Congress.

Collins was also asked about Trump’s move to eliminate federal reimbursement of the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies.

“What the president is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now. This is not a bailout for insurers,” she said.


On the Iran nuclear deal, Collins said Trump put a spotlight on two flaws in the agreement: sunset provisions and its failure to stop Iran from developing ballistic missiles.

“I want to strengthen the deal and work with our allies, but I want to see what the Senate committee comes up with for legislation, and we have a window to do that,” she said.

Collins was asked whether she agreed with Sen. Bob Corker’s recent remark that the White House had turned into an “adult day care center” after the Tennessee senator was attacked by Trump last week on Twitter.

Sidestepping the question, Collins said she considers Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a friend and advised Trump to realize that his words really matter.

“When he makes an offhand comment like the ‘calm before the storm,’ as he did recently, our enemies and allies analyze what that means,” Collins said. “He does not have the luxury to say whatever is in his mind. Every word he speaks matters now that he is president of the United States.”

Collins spoke about her decision to stay in the Senate, saying she sought the advice of three people in particular: former Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Sen. Angus King of Maine and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.


“They helped me walk through this issue, and their advice and counsel, along with many opinions from family, friends and constituents in Maine, led me to my decision,” she said.

She told Stephanopoulos she is a yes on the Senate budget proposal and supports tax reform that creates jobs in the United States, helps small businesses and brings tax relief to working families.

She also called former presidential strategist Steve Bannon’s declaration of war last week against the GOP establishment “over the top” and “not helpful.”

“His rhetoric is exactly what the American people are tired of. They don’t want this hyperpartisanship. They want us to work together. And they want us to get things done,” she said.


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