Haslam at NGA conference: We’re not ‘waiting around for an answer out of Washington’

Tennessee’s Bill Haslam is mentioned in a Politico story reporting that, on a bipartisan basis, the state chief executives gathered for a National Governors Association conference this week widely ignored President Donald Trump and his doings – not even mentioning his name for the most part.


Vice President Mike Pence spent much of his afternoon address to the nation’s governors on Friday making sure they know how much Donald Trump loves them. But a majority of the state leaders gathered here (Providence, R.I.) this week spent much of their three-day summer meeting pretending the president doesn’t exist.

…Neither the White House’s most prominent allies nor its loudest detractors in governor’s mansions made it to Rhode Island to begin with, significantly dampening what could have been a charged atmosphere. New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Florida’s Rick Scott — both close Republican Trump associates — skipped the meeting, as did frequent Trump critics like fellow Republican John Kasich of Ohio and Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York, Jerry Brown of California, and Jay Inslee of Washington.

…“There is a sense, with most of the things we deal with on a day-to-day basis, we can deal with them now in the states,” said Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, insisting that the governors’ common refrain about their political independence is still true. “Without waiting around for an answer out of Washington.”

Indeed, on policy after policy, governors whistled past the White House.

When it came to trade, they aligned themselves with counterparts from Canada and Mexico — many of whom traveled to Rhode Island for that specific purpose — in a bid to get distance from the White House and present an otherwise united North American front just one month before NAFTA’s renegotiation begins.

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