Friday, July 19, 2019
Sen. Jim Risch Paints Different Picture of Trump, Addresses Government Shutdown
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Sen. Jim Risch said that Trump has picked two Supreme Court justices and could pick two or three more if reelected.
 
Sunday, January 13, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

President Donald Trump may come across as arrogant and sometimes even vulgar on the nightly news.

But Idaho Sen. Jim Risch says the Trump that he knows is a charming man.

“The elephant in Washington, D.C. --that no one talks about but everyone talks about--is Donald Trump. It’s all about Donald Trump,” he told more than 50 people attending the 2019 Blaine County Lincoln Day Brunch at Hailey’s Community Campus Saturday.

 
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Billee Dinges, shows off her Trumpy Bear, with its thick eyelashes, orange hair and button-down sleeves. A moment later, she reached into his neck and pulled out an American flag.
 

“I was not a Donald Trump guy to start with—I was a Marco Rubio guy, which the President reminds me of every once in awhile. But (my wife) Vicki and I have become good friends with him and he’s a very different president than we’ve ever had before,” Risch said.

Risch said Trump’s one-on one persona is entirely different than what Americans see publicly on TV.

“If you walked away from a conversation with him and you didn’t know who he was, you’d say he’s a pretty charming man, a nice guy. He gives us easy access to see and talk to him,” Risch said.

Normally, dealing with a president is a stiff, intimidating experience, even for Congressmen, said Risch, who was elected chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee two days ago. No one can get near them with their staff and Secret Service around and it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation with them.

 
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Steve DeFort, whose wife Alisa is secretary of Blaine County Republicans, mans the quiches and strawberry pecan and orange walnut breads in his FBI target apron.
 

Trump operates casually, for the most part, he added.

Risch described how he and Vicki took their grandson Jake to see the President in early December and Trump invited them to accompany him on Air Force One to the Army-Navy game.

“We talked about the things people talk about with no staff around, no Secret Service around,” Risch said of the flight. “You couldn’t do that with anyone else.”

Risch visited a half-dozen stadium suites with Trump, who walked around shaking hands and posing for pictures without Secret Service following him. The President grabbed Risch’s grandson Jake and put him in a golf cart with him. And, as they passed a line of saluting cadets, the President told Jake: “Those guys wanted to play today and they’re injured. Jake, don’t ever play football.”

 
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Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin said her husband wore the family tartan with tuxedo to last week’s Inaugural Ball at the Boise Capitol.
 

Risch said that the President is absolutely committed to the security of the United States.

“If he thinks Americans are getting the short end of the stick over trade or NATO, his hair gets on fire. And he’s got a lot of hair to get on fire.”

As chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, Risch will be concerned with the Chinese government stealing technology from Micron.

“We’re producers, whether we’re dealing in agriculture or technology,” he said. “Ninety-five percent of our customers live outside the boundaries of the United States so it’s important to have good relations with them.”

 
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Allie Silver, now 10, has singing the National Anthem since 7. She’s the great niece of Sen. Jim Risch’s Chief of Staff John Sandy and niece-by-marriage to former Idaho Rep. Steve Miller.
 

Risch and eight other senators introduced legislation Friday aimed at ending government shutdowns forever by creating an automatic continuing resolution or a regular appropriations bill.

“The government shutdown is a bad deal. Real people are involved. Real people are hurt by it,” he said following the brunch. “Government shutdowns are never good. We’re not elected to not govern.”

This particular shutdown is personality driven between Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, he said. Ending it will require a compromise that gives each a way to get something they want and save face.

“There’s no other way it can be resolved,” he said.

Risch said the image people have of a toxic atmosphere in Washington, D.C. is not accurate.

 “We don’t sit Democrats on one side of the aisle and Republicans on the other. We have open seating and we sit down with people not of our own party and we get along, we really do.”

Janice McGeachin, Idaho’s first female lieutenant governor, joined Risch in addressing the gathering.

Since she lives in Idaho Falls, she counts Jackson Hole as her primary ski area. But that didn’t stop the McGeachins from buying a condo in Warm Springs 15 years ago, then trading it in for a cabin in Sun Valley.

“We love that they’re so proactive about making things happen here,” she said. “There’s no off-season in Sun Valley. There’s something happening all the time.”

For as long as they’ve lived here, McGeachin said, they have a Christmas Eve tradition of  snowshoeing down to the river and raising a toast to the snow gods at midnight in hopes of getting snow for Sun Valley.

“Because our prayers were answered, my husband Jimmy is only here in spirit,” she said. “Physically, he’s on the hill.”

McGeachin said she has three goals as lieutenant governor.

She wants to balance the demands of one of the fastest growing states in the nation. The stage budget is growing more than 5 percent, she added, while income is about 4 percent.

She wants to reduce regulations, following Gov. Brad Little’s admonition to delete two rules for every new agency rule that’s implemented.

Finally, she wants to help out what she calls the “new collar workforce” gain the skills that are needed for tomorrow’s jobs.

A silent auction designed to raise money for Blaine County Republicans included “Build the Wall” Vintage Lincoln Logs, Lincoln Penny cufflinks, a 1909 Abraham Lincoln Postcard, a “Long May She Wave” book recounting the history of the American flag and Bush campaign buttons from 1988 and 1992.

Brunch Emcee Cindy Jessinger noted that Idaho Republicans lost seats in both the Senate and the House.

“But we’re still 80 percent,” she added.

Since there are no Republicans representing District 26, the part y will focus on community building this year, she added.

That means when Nicholas Purdy and his wife have their baby, there’ll be a Republican baby shower, she said.

“And since my husband and I just spent five weeks traveling internationally on a shoestring budget, I’ve been asked to make a presentation on how to travel inexpensively.”

 

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