OMB Director Mick Mulvaney strongly stressed his libertarian leanings in a recent interview with the Washington Examiner. According to the Examiner’s Alex Pappas, Mulvaney ‘said he considers himself in the libertarian wing of the party’. Mulvaney then went on to say, “I’ve always come from the sort of the school of thought that I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home.”
Mulvaney also mentioned that his staff had been working closely with Senior Advisor to the President, Stephen Miller, to turn the Trump campaign’s “policies into numbers”. Miller is widely seen as a close ally of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, so this may be promising for grassroots conservatives who are hoping that Trump sticks by his anti-establishment, ‘America First’ platform.
The OMB Director made clear that he differs from Trump on the major issue of entitlement reform, but agreed to defer to the President on this.
“We talked through the various mandatory spending programs and why I thought they needed to be changed, how I thought they could be changed. And at the end, I gave him a list, and he went down and said yes, yes, yes, no, no, no, yes, yes, no. The nos were Social Security retirement and Medicare.”
“It’s a policy dream come true to be able to make the arguments directly to the president of the United States, and if I lose, that’s great. I’m not the president. He is. And I absolutely respect his final decision.”
Mulvaney stated that his name was put into consideration for the post of OMB Director by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee and himself a strong advocate for sound money. Hensarling had previously been considered for Treasury Secretary, but was passed over for a more conventional establishment figure, movie producer Steven Mnuchin.
Mulvaney, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, initially endorsed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in last year’s Republican primaries, but was quick to get behind Trump after he won the Republican nomination.