By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Say what you will about President Donald Trump, his instincts — business and political — are continuing to serve him well.
As reported by CBS News and other outlets, Richard Spencer, whom Trump fired as Navy secretary last year when he moved to undercut the commander-in-chief over a pardoned Navy SEAL, Eddie Gallagher, publicly endorsed Democratic presidential contender Mike Bloomberg on Friday.
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The network reported:
He said Bloomberg, as president, would defend the Constitution. He said Bloomberg would “uphold the Uniform Code of Military Justice” and “honor the service and ensure the equal treatment of all women and men in uniform.” Spencer also said Bloomberg would “respect the advice of military advisers.”
In hisÂÂ (which was preempted by his firing), Spencer had told the president, “I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took.” The Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice “are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all,” he wrote. He went on to say he had “strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent.”
Spencer noted further in his endorsement of Bloomberg that he “has a smart, much-needed plan to help veterans transition to civilian life,” and will “connect veterans and military families to the employment, education, and health care services and support they deserve.”
He also said he plans to join Bloomberg at an event in Norfolk, Va. Friday, home to a major U.S. naval base, where Bloomberg was to present a plan to help veterans. That’s also the city where he formally entered the race in November.
Spencer is, of course, free to endorse anyone he wants, but his stated reasoning behind it says a lot about why Trump fired him to begin with, at least in our view.
First and foremost, any presidential candidate who wants to essentially gut a fundamental American right — in Bloomberg’s case, the Second Amendment — is not a constitutional defender. Bloomberg’s anti-gun efforts are well-documented and if elected, there is no reason to doubt he wouldn’t pursue them. Gun bans, gun registration, red flag laws, and perhaps even gun registration are all possible under Bloomberg — and all violate the Second Amendment’s “infringement” clause.
As for veterans, it was President Trump who implemented a series of reforms to fundamentally reverse the failures of the Obama administration, when vets were dying on waiting lists. Notes Anthony Principi, a Vietnam vet, in The Hill:
President TrumpÂ has been adamant that Veterans Affairs establish the key programs to care for both the physical and psychological wounds of our returning service members. Through taking executive action and signing bipartisan reforms into law, he has time and again demonstrated his own commitment to delivering the reforms our veterans deserve. He has also made sure the government provides them adequate resources.
TheÂ budget allocationÂ was a record $201 billion for Veterans Affairs this year, and the budget request for next year calls for raising that figure to $220 billion. Some of that money will go toward attracting medical and management talent to Veterans Affairs that was lacking in certain areas, a task furthered by the Veterans Affairs Choice and Quality Employment Act. The Trump administration has also taken crucial steps to improve the prospects of future veterans. The National Defense Authorization Act this year has raisedÂ military salariesÂ by 2.6 percent, the most in nine years.
Money is not everything, though, which is why President Trump has also worked with lawmakers to reform how Veterans Affairs works and will continue to ensure that dollars are spent wisely for our veterans and their families. To that end, he signed the Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Mission Act, all designed to create flexible new treatment options while building a culture of accountability. The Mission Act notably allows veterans to use benefits at private medical facilities if their local Veterans Affairs hospital is unable to fully meet their needs.
Principi, a former secretary of Veterans Affairs, also noted that Trump has signed a series of executive orders establishing a hotline to help vets navigate the labyrinth of VA regulations, as well as others to address veteran suicides and improve veterans’ care overall.
What else can a President Bloomberg legitimately do? Spencer’s endorsement of Bloomberg just sounds like sour grapes.
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