Admit defeat or die? Conservative columnist has some surprising advice for the GOP in 2020
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). (AFP)

Republicans have two options leading up to the 2020 elections, a conservative columnist argued Friday — admit that Obamacare cannot successfully be repealed under President Donald Trump, or die trying.

"There’s nothing new about Trump making unwise and capricious declarations," Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis wrote. "But in the case of health care, Trump injected an especially toxic political issue back into the national conversation, handing Democrats a knife they will twist gleefully between now and Election Day."

Lewis noted that several GOP incumbents were "haunted" by their poor track record on Affordable Care Act repeal — many so much so that they lost their seats to Democratic challengers.

"If Senate Republicans want to avoid a similar fate in 2020 (goodbye, judicial nominations!), they should exorcise this issue, rather than relitigate it," the columnist wrote.

A senior Trump administration official once told Lewis that the GOP and Trump's "repeal-replace" mantra felt "like Bush’s Social Security [privatization] all over again."

"It’s really hard to see how this ends up with as many people being covered at the same or lower costs," the source told him. "It’s a mess."

That source, Lewis noted, was right — and the only "win" the GOP has scored since was getting rid of the individual mandate.

"They should pocket that and move on," he warned. "Call me a defeatist, but I think this issue is a loser for Republicans."