...majority of the state leaders gathered here this week spent much of their three-day summer meeting pretending the president doesn’t exist.
When a group of seven Democratic governors stood in front of a cramped hotel meeting room Friday morning to decry the GOP’s health care plan, for all 30 minutes they avoided saying the polarizing words “Donald Trump.”
"When I deal with all these governors here, Democrat or Republican, I'm not sure his name has even come up," said Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the NGA chairman who is mentioned as a prospective Trump challenger in 2020.
"You would think it would be a big topic of discussion, it's almost like he's a non-factor, no one's even talking about him."
“There is a sense, with most of the things we deal with on a day-to-day basis, we can deal with them now in the states,” said Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, insisting that the governors’ common refrain about their political independence is still true.
“Without waiting around for an answer out of Washington."
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