Speed Reads

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Budget director Mick Mulvaney introduces himself by saying 'Hi, I'm a right-wing nut job!'

President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, has been called "the most dangerous man in Washington," a self-described "hard-core right-winger" who has brought his ambitions of slashing spending and regulations to the White House. "Republicans have said for years that government should only take people's money to provide absolutely vital services, but Mulvaney truly believes it," Politico Magazine writes, adding that the Trump administration's "lasting impact on American lives will likely depend much more on how often Mulvaney can push his conservative ideas into national policy."

Mulvaney himself admits that "I don't think anyone in this administration is more of a right-wing conservative than I am," a position he embraces with both a sense of humor as well as pride:

Mulvaney has an amusing way of announcing his extremism. His first words to Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, were: "Hi, I'm a right-wing nutjob!" (Cohn's deadpan reply: "Hi, I'm Gary.") At a meeting with [Office of Management and Budget] analysts, Mulvaney wryly described himself as a crazy reactionary. But he bristles a bit at stereotypes of Southern conservatives as knuckle-dragging backwoods Neanderthals, because he's not that kind of reactionary. He comes off more like a 50-year-old Rotary Club suburbanite with triplets, a standing desk, and an eight handicap, which he is. He studied abroad in Madrid. He drives a Miata. [Politico Magazine]

Mulvaney, who helped launch the Freedom Caucus, also proposed calling the group the "Reasonable Nutjob Caucus," but it didn't fly. Read more about Mulvaney at Politico Magazine.