Interviews

Blackwell: Trump has a mandate to put harness on Washington

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 13, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Donald Trump is certainly moving fast and furious getting that Cabinet together. And, remember, he has got a record number of individuals to put in there, besides just the Cabinet secretaries. I'm talking about all the underlings there, which seem to grow through Republican and Democratic administrations.

I want to show you something back in Lincoln's time. Do we still have this one, Pam? They were just showing me this image. There's Lincoln's Cabinet. That was it. The team of rivals was like a team of neighbors, it looked like there. Right?

I do want to show you Barack Obama's now, all right? A little crowded around the table. Of course, that's press. I'm just doing this just to make the point there that they are going to need a lot of chairs.

And a lot of that has to do with the fact that over the years, in order to give an area or a specialty some status, you give it a Cabinet-level department like Energy and Education and on and on and on.

Trump transition team member former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Secretary, always good to have you.

KENNETH BLACKWELL, R-FORMER MAYOR OF CINCINNATI, OHIO: Good to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: A lot of people are giving the president-elect some heat because a lot of his choices seem to be for shaking things up, if not even taking their department right out of existence.

I think of that with Rick Perry, of course, the former Texas governor who has often said of the Energy Department that we don't need it. So, now as likely energy secretary, he could maybe lead the charge to dismantle it.  And people are aghast at that. What do you think of this?

BLACKWELL: Well, I think the choices have sent the right message to the market. And the market is responding right on cue.

Look, he had a mandate. And that was to turn over the tables and not to embrace the status quo, but to actually change things, put the harness back on the reach of government in our lives, give the free market a chance to work, grow, and produce jobs for working Americans.

And I think he is sending the right message. If you read his book "The Art of the Deal," you get a real sense that he is about going after the best talent. And I think, given his agenda, he is going after the best talent and he's putting together a masterful Cabinet.

And I am not so much concerned about how many seats are at the table. I am concerned about the reach of government in our lives. And I think he is set on putting the harness back on government and giving our individual freedoms a chance to blossom.

CAVUTO: I also think that we maybe have the wrong perception of what a Cabinet secretary should do. Should he or she be promoting their department or changing it if it is proven ineffective to deal with it? If it goes too far, being overly intrusive with regulations and requirements, let's say the EPA is a good example, then when a Scott Pruitt comes along to say, wait a minute, the way we have been operating is not correct, or Andy Puzder, the labor secretary.

If a fast-food titan comes in there and says, look, when you willy-nilly keep demanding hike after hike after hike of the minimum wage to get to $15, you're going to do more harm than good, who says that's necessarily heresy? Redefining the role of what these Cabinet secretaries should do and should be.

BLACKWELL: You know, the reality is, first, we start from the fact that it is Donald Trump's Labor Department. It is President Trump's Department of Housing and Urban Development.

These secretaries don't have exclusive control over those departments.  Their job is to carry out the Trump agenda through those departments. And one of the things Donald Trump understands is that there's too much bureaucracy, too much constraint on free market enterprise, and it's an economy that's not producing enough jobs for working Americans to go to work.

I will tell you right now he's going to get a lot of table pounding and a lot of screaming and jaw-jacking from the left. But, Neil, I will tell you, and you already know this, as my dad used to say, dogs don't bark at parked cars.

CAVUTO: That is very profound.

Ken, it's always a pleasure. I failed to embarrass you today, and maybe I will do so next time, but it's always a pleasure.

Thank you very, very much, Ken Blackwell.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, sir.

CAVUTO: They don't bark at parked cars. They're moving. I know where he's going. All right.

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