GOP strategist reviews Trump's first months in office
04/16/2017 08:32 PM
Scott Jennings, a Kentucky Republican political operative and PR guru, is paying close attention to President Trump’s first 100 days in office, and has plenty of positive things to say about the president’s action overseas.
“We’ve seen a no nonsense president who makes decisions quickly, decisively,” Jennings said in an interview on Friday. “We’ve seen him take a strong hand with China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria.”
“I think what we’re seeing is that American leadership is restored,” he continued. “People will have to respect us and or fear us.”
When it comes to the recent missile strike on Shyrat airbase in Syria, Jennings said the attack, even though it did little to cripple the Syrian air force and left the base operational, was a win for the administration. Because Trump enforced a “red line” Jennings said voters were pleased, and other potential adversaries were put on notice by the first time politician.
“What Donald Trump has signaled so far in his administration is, ‘I’m not going to be pushed very far,’” he said.
The president sent another message when the United States military dropped the so-called “mother of all bombs” on a tunnel complex in Afghanistan targeting ISIS militants.
“During the campaign Donald Trump said quote he was going to bomb the hell out of ISIS, and that’s a promise kept,” Jennings said.
Trump is “getting it right” when it comes to what the voter base who elected Trump wants on foreign policy, according to Jennings, but he said the administration will have to do more on the domestic front.
Jennings argues that Trump was right to quickly attempt to pass a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, but one thing he said the administration will need to understand is the political reality of the factions in the GOP — including the freedom caucus.
One item that has take in place in Congress of late is the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch. The move to confirm took place only after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, held off on holding hearings on President Obama’s nominee, and then changed the rules in the upper chamber after a Democratic filibuster to approve the nomination.
Jennings said holding open the seat on the bench, allowed enough in the GOP to get behind Trump to push him across the electoral finish line ahead of Secretary Hillary Clinton.
On the confirmation process, Jennings said McConnell “handled it beautifully, and I think Chuck Schumer is going to regret what they did.”
“By forcing the fight on Gorsuch, and forcing the rules change on Gorsuch it means the next vacancy the White House doesn’t have to worry about nominating someone that has to get 60 votes,” he said.
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