CNN Highlights How Trump's Executive Actions Are Designed To Paper Over Failed Legislative Agenda

PBS's John Yang: Trump's “Buy American” Executive Order “Is Something That Could Have Been Accomplished With A Phone Call ... But They've Chosen This Sort Of Symbolic Action”

From the April 18 edition of CNN's Inside Politics:

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JOHN KING (HOST): Will the blue collar voters, who made him president, who maybe had traditionally voted Democratic, who decided to vote Republican, will they give him that grace? “I understand, OK, he has got a big world problems so I have to wait.”

ASHLEY PARKER: It's an interesting question. You saw it in that interview. You also saw him in a tweet say much the same thing. On the one hand he was being very honest, sort of openly admitting he was using currency manipulation in China on trade policy as a bargaining chip with North Korea. On the one hand, I think it speaks to some of that authenticity and honesty that voters appreciate in the sense that they are willing to let him make a deal. On the other hand, I think that he does need to keep his promises. And especially on an issue like trade. This is a promise that involves other countries, but is felt acutely at home in people's pockets. And, at the end of the day, that is always what people end up voting on. Whether they turn on him now or in a bit if he doesn't deliver, I think that's a risk.

JOHN YANG: And you see that partly in today, what they're doing today with the executive order, trying to turn to things blue collar workers -- would appeal to blue collar workers. But if you scratch the surface of this executive order and a lot of others, there's not much there there. Today's executive order on “Buy American” is something that could be accomplished with a phone call to the commerce secretary. But they've chosen this sort of symbolic action of signing an executive order because it looks like something's happening. It looks like action is being taken.

KING: It's essentially another study. Look around the government. Find out why agencies sometimes use loopholes to buy other products. Report back to the commerce secretary. As you know, that's -- again, that's how government works sometimes, but it is not what Donald Trump the candidate promised when he said, “I'm going to go to Washington and I'm going to change it.”

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Yeah, it's not “drain the swamp.” It's not big and bold. It's not immediate action in the way that [Steve] Bannon talked about as well, that they would come to town immediately and shake things up. I think it's very much a surprise. If you look at sort of the after hours of that election where Hillary Clinton loses, huge upset, there was so much thinking in terms of what this Trump administration would do. He would have the Congress, both houses, and you thought, I think we all thought, there would be sort of immediate things that happened and some successes. But you look at what Congress -- how it's made up. Only 52 edge for Republicans in the Senate and sort of a feuding fractions of the Republican Party in the House. It's not going to get any easier. I think in some ways he is obviously talking to his base. They do see these actions and sort of motions, but not a lot of movement on this.


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