By Pat Jenkins
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, southeast Pierce County’s congressman, is finding some common ground with the administration of president-elect Donald Trump, whom Reichert once called “dangerous” and “a joke.”
Reichert, the chairman of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, met Dec. 21 with Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady and vice president-elect Mike Pence to discuss the tax and trade agendas in the new Congress.
After the meeting, Reichert said in a statement that he and Pence “share the same goal of growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs here at home. Tax reform and expanded trade will help us meet this goal.”
Reichert added, "I am looking forward to continuing an open and direct dialogue with Mr. Pence and the Trump administration as we move into 2017. I am confident that by putting America first through high-standard trade agreements, we will not only maintain our role as a world economic leader, but we will strengthen our national security and open doors for countless entrepreneurs and workers.”
Last February, several months before Trump won the Republican Party’s presidential nomination and went on to be elected, Reichert took a swipe at Trump while speaking at a meeting of the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce.
“He would be dangerous” if elected to the White House, Reichert said. “He doesn’t have a plan. The guy is a joke.”
Reichert, a fellow Republican, also criticized Trump for “calling people names and yelling at people” during presidential primary election campaigns.
At other times, Reichert made public comments that he would never endorse Trump.
Other members of Congress also were outspokenly critical of Trump ahead of his victory in the election in November. Since then, many have expressed an inclination to work with the new president.
Reichert was re-elected in November to his seventh two-year term by voters in the Eighth Congressional District, which includes Eatonville, Graham, Ashford and other southern portions of Pierce County. The district also covers parts of King County and eastern Washington.