President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has reportedly named prominent Ohio conservative Kenneth Blackwell as its domestic foreign policy adviser. In this position, he'll have authority over a wide range of issues and branches, including education, agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the interior and labor, according to a document obtained by Politico.
Blackwell, an outspoken Trump surrogate throughout the presidential campaign, previously served as Ohio treasurer, Ohio secretary of state, Cincinnati mayor, U.S. Housing Department undersecretary and ambassador to the United Nations’ Commission for Human Rights. His long resume also includes an unsuccessful race for Ohio governor, during which he became the state's first-ever black gubernatorial nominee, as well as membership on the boards of the National Rifle Association and the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth.
As the latter two affiliations show, Blackwell, who advised the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC during the GOP primary, is pro-gun and in favor of free-market, laissez-faire capitalism. But given that domestic policy is a wide umbrella, his stances on everything else are getting a closer look.
A quick glance at Blackwell’s Twitter profile reveals, for the most part, hostility toward former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — who he has called a “cheater” and a “nightmare” for America — along with her family, her former running mate, Tim Kaine, and her prominent supporters.
But a dive into the account, which is not verified but is linked on Blackwell's official Family Research Council bio page, offers more insight.
Blackwell appears to be against abortion and for religious liberty.
His support for religious liberty may have limits, though. Although he sides with those who believe people should have freedom of dress, he labeled Middle Eastern immigrants as followers of “radical Islam” when questioned about whether women should be allowed to cover themselves out of modesty on beaches in southern France.
He also seems to view gender-neutral bathrooms, which have sprung up in light of an ongoing discussion over transgender rights, as a “public safety risk.”
And he’s apparently among the cohort of “drill, baby, drill” — a major defender of the oil industry.
Blackwell sees family unity and religious faith as top priorities and key drivers in maintaining low crime rates.
He has also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, writing in a Daily Caller column that it "has created an atmosphere of anger and hatred and has incited violence against law enforcement officers across the country."
And, lastly, Blackwell views Trump — or, at least, once saw Trump — as a “threat to conservatism” and a cause for “Republican crisis.”
He may have since changed his mind. On Wednesday, Blackwell wrote a Facebook post praising the new president-elect. "Donald Trump's historic victory, coupled with Republicans maintaining a Senate and House majority, unequivocally demonstrates that the American people love freedom, religious liberty, and despise political correctness and Obamacare," he said.