Vice President Mike Pence arrived at the National Governors Association summer meeting with one mission: to revive support for the flagging GOP plan to rewrite the nation’s health care laws.

He failed.

Instead of rousing cheers on the Providence, Rhode Island, waterfront, Pence was greeted with an icy air of skepticism Friday as he pitched the legislation, which would reduce federal Medicaid funding and phase out coverage in dozens of states.

By Monday evening, when President Donald Trump and Pence gathered a cluster of Republicans senators in the Blue Room of the White House over plates of lemon ricotta agnolotti and grilled rib eye, the measure was all but dead.

Malloy singled out a private breakfast session Saturday, in which administration officials sought to win over governors on the Senate legislation, as particularly problematic for the White House’s sale. He said one official sought to discredit the Congressional Budget Office; less than a minute later, another official cited a CBO statistic to defend his argument.

“It was heavy handed. It was ham-handed,” Malloy said of the administration’s efforts at the summit.

The CBO had been set to release another report as soon as Monday on what the bill would do to insurance coverage levels, premium costs and the federal budget deficit, but it ended up not being released. A CBO report on an earlier version of the legislation projected that it would result in 22 million fewer Americans with insurance by 2026 than under current law. It predicted that the measure would reduce the budget deficit by $321 billion over the same period.

Inside the West Wing, Pence and Trump advisers continued to operate as if passage was possible, despite of the unsuccessful turn in Providence. When the dinner convened Monday, Pence was scheduled to have dinner at his residence later that week with undecided Republicans.

Despite the negative feedback, the White House believed the Providence meetings went as well as they could have expected considering that the governors were expected to be clamoring for more federal money than the bill would provide. Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price — both former House members — teamed up on the call list, wooing Sunday and Monday by phone.

Among the members who were being monitored closely by Pence was Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. In multiple discussions with Pence, Lee indicated that he had reservations but was not a firm “no” and was open to further talks.

But it was Lee and Sen. Jerry Moran , R-Kan., who ended up announcing their opposition on Monday night as Pence and Trump dined with other lawmakers at the White House — a final, vivid reminder of how the rosy view among many senior Republicans rarely if ever tracked with the actual state of play.

Lee and Moran made it four Republican “no” votes. They joined Sen. Rand Paul , Ky., and Collins, who had declared their opposition days earlier. With a 52-seat majority, Republicans could afford to lose only two votes to pass the bill since all 46 Democrats and two independents were expected to vote against the proposal, with Pence as the potential tiebreaker.

One sign that the White House and McConnell didn’t see it coming: the senators who were in the Blue Room on Monday night. They were not holdouts but mostly heavyweights of the Republican leadership: Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Roy Blunt of Missouri, among others.

Trump, impatient with the Senate’s glacial pace, asked for a candid assessment of the legislation’s status from the veteran lawmakers, according to officials familiar with the meeting. He implored them to hurry up and get the bill to his desk. But it was Paris and the flag-waving festivities he had witnessed alongside French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday and Friday that occupied much of his attention during the conversation, the officials said.

As difficult as the health care debate had been, there was a pervasive feeling that McConnell would somehow prevail.

“I wouldn’t put it on him,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Tuesday about Trump. “The bottom line is there are members here who understood the president’s preference and were willing to vote against it anyways.”

Some Senate Republicans said McConnell’s strategy of working an inside game and largely leaving Trump to observer-cheerleader status was misguided from the start. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the public should have been far more informed about the bill.

“We didn’t have the courage to lay out exactly what caused premiums to increase,” Johnson said. “We don’t even have the [CBO] score on this latest version. It’s an insane process. If you don’t have information how can you even have a legitimate discussion and debate?”

Tuesday only brought more tension. There was finger-pointing and faction-forming as Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus worked to repair relationships with senators, many of whom saw the president and his team as perhaps well-intentioned but fumbling in their understanding of Congress.

When McConnell broached voting Wednesday on a bill that would simply repeal Obamacare during a Senate lunch, he was met with resistance, according to aides familiar with the meeting. McConnell had speakers lined up to support his plan but a number of senators, fuming over the Monday drama and other issues, asked for a pause rather than quick legislative action.

After the lunch, McConnell did not say when a health care vote would happen, other than the “near future.” By the end of the day, he said it would happen “early next week.”

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How Trump and Republicans failed on their health care bill