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Two Observers Say . . . Tom Price’s Departure Not A Purge Of A Conservative

October 9, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

A man who built a TV reputation by telling his potential apprentices “You’re fired!” might have been expected to use the same approach if he became top man in the U.S. government and thought that a leading executive reporting to him was falling short.
That was the motive for President Trump’s shoving Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price off the platform instead of a desire to purge a conservative by a non-ideological White House, two sources told The Wanderer.
Price gave up a safe congressional seat to become head of HHS as Trump selected his new administration’s management team. Price, also a physician as well as a respected member of the U.S. House, seemed a logical choice for the major health job. His pro-life credentials only added to the luster for many who chose to place their trust in Trump as the president gave shape to his priorities.
However, Price’s management style at HHS was called into question as some said he came up lacking in helping to get Obamacare repealed — a legislative failure that was a severe embarrassment to Trump after Republicans promised voters for seven years to make the demise of the government medical monstrosity a priority.
The immediate reason for Price’s departure was that he wasted taxpayer money on excessively expensive air travel instead of taking commercial jets. But this was only “Trump’s Breaking Point with Price,” as the Politico website headlined the ouster on September 29.
Conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard cited that article to The Wanderer when this newspaper asked if he thought Price’s departure was another step in purging the administration of conservatives, as White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s exit was said to have been.
Querard said: “Price wasn’t forced out because he was pro-life, he was forced out because he was living the high life at taxpayer expense, and then oddly bragging about it through department communications to the entire staff. The media feeding frenzy when there is blood in the water was predictable, but these wounds were self-inflicted.
“I don’t see any pattern of them targeting conservatives within the administration. The media will, of course, but that’s par for the course,” Querard added. “Trump’s litmus test has nothing to do with conservative or liberal. It is about personal loyalty, who is seen as getting the job done, and generating headlines that help Trump instead of hurting Trump.”
The Politico story said Price’s “demise was months in the making, as the president continued to lose trust in the Health and Human Services secretary who rarely attended Oval Office strategy meetings, had little sway or influence on Capitol Hill, and was associated in the president’s mind with one of the administration’s biggest defeats — the failure to repeal Obamacare.”
The president “was intensely frustrated by his unsuccessful health-care push and associated Price with the failure, several aides said. He joked at a rally in July he would fire Price if he didn’t get the votes for the Obamacare repeal,” Politico said.
Conservative commentator Barbara Simpson noted that liberal Democrats are allowed to get away with behavior that brings down the roof on Republicans, but Price still had made a mistake.
Simpson told The Wanderer: “It’s amazing how in Washington the ‘sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.’ When it was made public that (now-House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi was using government planes for her cross-country trips, mostly for family issues, it was treated with a giggle by the media, and Nancy danced away laughing. (Former Defense Secretary) Leon Panetta also did the same when he was in office, and any criticism was brushed away.
“But it’s totally different when the person in question is a Republican, and especially if he’s part of the Trump administration,” Simpson said. “When it became public that…Tom Price used charter flights for his business and some private trips, everything hit the fan. It got so bad that finally the president stepped in and insinuated Price would be asked to resign, but then Price did just that.
“Understand, I don’t think any politician should travel on private charters even for government work, and most certainly not for private business,” she said. “It’s really too bad that Price didn’t realize his flight plans would slam back against the president and cause even more dissension in the ranks. All it did was give ammunition to the Democrats to undermine the president, and more of that he doesn’t need.
“Bye, Tom. You did bad,” Simpson concluded.
Back in July Trump also had expressed exasperation with another of his top choices, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even though Sessions had been a key early supporter of candidate Trump’s presidential aspirations. But that storm passed.
Trump said he’d been disappointed by Sessions quickly recusing himself from the Russia investigation — a probe contrived by left-wing Democrats and their media allies.
Sessions is another strong conservative and pro-lifer in Trump’s cabinet.
It’s a different day than when dominant media allowed corrupt Barack Obama to do as he pleased when president, including retaining two corrupt attorneys general in office — Eric Holder, even though he was held in contempt of Congress, and Loretta Lynch, trying secretly to conspire with Bill Clinton on the Phoenix airport tarmac on behalf of wife Hillary’s 2016 presidential candidacy.

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