Everyone makes mistakes and it takes a big man to express regret about, which is what President Donald Trump has allegedly done.
The president was furious at the health and human services secretary over the banning of most flavors of vape in a call on Thursday.
President Trump had wavered for months over whether or not to ban the vape flavors but ultimately decided to sign on to the ban.
But when he picked up the phone, during a meeting with his 2020 campaign staff and called Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II he let him have it.
“I never should have done this vaping thing,” along with an added expletive for emphasis, two sources close to the call said to The New York Times.
And then, after the call was done, Azar made an appearance on Fox News where he praised the president, Maggie Haberman reported.
“Mr. Azar supported a ban on flavored e-cigarettes to try to curb their widespread use among teenagers. Mr. Trump agreed to such a ban in the fall, but repeatedly waffled on formalizing it after his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said it would hurt him with his base of voters,” The Times said.
“Vaping industry officials also ratcheted up pressure on Mr. Trump. The president finally announced a version of the ban at the end of 2019, although even then he suggested it might be temporary. The ban applied to most e-cigarette cartridges, but did not include menthol, which research has found is far less popular with teenagers than other flavors. Flavored liquid nicotine sold in open tank systems at vape shops was also exempted,” it said.
At the time of signing the ban the president said, “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children and we’re going to protect the industry.”
But the ban has been incredibly unpopular with his conservative and libertarian base who, unlike liberals, want the freedom to make their own choices.
It has sparked a “WeVapeWeVote campaign on Twitter and has made many of the president’s younger supporters furious.
“We do not comment on conversations or meetings between Secretary Azar and the president,” a spokeswoman for Azar said to The Times.
“There’s no daylight between the White House and HHS as we work to implement the president’s policies and improve the American health care system for everyone, not just those in the individual market,” she said.
But that certainly will not stop the speculation about the call or the backlash from the decision to ban the flavors.
The alleged call came after polls showed voters trust Democrats more than the president on issues of healthcare.
Some Republicans are now looking to work on lowering the cost of prescription drugs as a countermeasure to the negative polling.
“Republicans arguably lost the House in 2018 because of health care issues,” Michael Zona a spokesman for Sen. Charles Grassley said. “A big issue [in 2020] is going to be prescription drug pricing and that’s why everyone needs to get it together and do something.”
But with a booming economy, a soaring stock market and the Islamic State decimated, if vape flavors are the president’s biggest regret he is doing a fantastic job.