Tom Price Battles Chuck Todd: We’ve Got ‘Incredible Challenges’ and You Want to Talk About Trump’s Tweets?

‘The American people want to talk about the challenges’

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CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you about the tone of the president’s tweets. Many Republicans in the Senate condemned the personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and attacking on her looks. You have Lindsey Graham saying it was “beneath the office.” Ben Sasse, “This isn’t normal.” Jeff Flake, “Beneath the dignity of the presidency.” Susan Collins begging, “This has to stop.” Lisa Murkowski begging, “This has to stop.” Does his behavior bother you?

SECY. TOM PRICE: Well, what I’m concentrated on is the job that he’s given me. And that is to make certain that we fulfill the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the American people. And there are a whole array of activities that we’re undertaking. One of them is this piece of legislation that’s in the Senate right now. But my job is consumed by making certain that we fulfill the mission at the department.

CHUCK TODD: I’m just asking you as a father. If your son tweeted about a woman like that, what would you say to him?

SECY. TOM PRICE: Chuck, you know, this is really remarkable. You’ve got incredible challenges across this nation, incredible challenges around the world. The challenge that I’ve been given is to address the health care issues. And your program, a program with the incredible history of Meet the Press, and that’s what you want to talk about?

CHUCK TODD: I don’t.

SECY. TOM PRICE: Let me suggest to you that the American people want to talk about the challenges.

CHUCK TODD: Mr. Secretary, I don’t. Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, you’re blaming me for what the president of the United States has spent his entire week focused on?

SECY. TOM PRICE: No. Listen to me, with all due respect. The American people are concerned about a health care system that is not providing choices, where premiums are going up, where insurance companies are vacating markets all across this land. And that’s what they want us to concentrate on. And that’s what they want us to fix. And that’s what I and the president are working on.

CHUCK TODD: Why isn’t the president as devoted to this as you are?

SECY. TOM PRICE: Well, I think that he is, absolutely. The fact of the matter is that he can do more than one thing at a time. And the challenge that he’s put before us at the Department of Health and Human Services is to make certain that we not only just address the issue of this health care piece of legislation. But address the United States’ role in the world as it relates to pandemic influenza, to address the United States’ role in the world as it relates to research and development, to make certain that we’re on the cutting edge of the incredible innovation that’s available to decrease human suffering, not just in the United States but around the world. That’s the challenge that he’s given to us.

CHUCK TODD: Okay, Secretary Price. I don’t think a lot of people envy, sometimes, the position that the president put you in. I understand that. Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it.

SECY. TOM PRICE: Thank you.

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