The America First Policy Institute, one of many organizations set up to carry forward President Donald Trump’s legacy, has hired a staffer who previously served as the national spokesman of an anti-Trump organization.
Javon Price was previously the Vice President of External Affairs and National Spokesman of Gen Z GOP, a Never Trump organization intended to steer the Republican Party away from President Trump’s agenda.
According to CNN, which has published several fawning articles about Gen Z GOP, the group believes that the Republican Party was “hijacked” and moved towards “authoritarian populism” under Trump.
“Over the past few years, our political system has proven broken. Our party hijacked. Our values forgotten. As Republicans, we believe that the party of Lincoln is worth saving from its current flirtation with authoritarian populism. But we do not seek to return to the politics of the past,” Gen Z GOP said in a launch video. “We seek to present a new vision.”
The leader of Gen Z GOP, Mike Brodo, told NPR that he supported Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy. The Spectator USA has reported that Gen Z GOP’s communications director, Ellie Kalisz, is a Women’s March activist and a Hillary 2016 campaign volunteer. In October 2020, Price suggested to Politico that the President’s rhetoric had made it difficult for young black men to support him:
“Price admits that consolidating any sizable Gen Z Black support around the president will be difficult in light of some of his statements.”
Price also distanced himself from Trump in remarks to Utah’s Deseret News, stating that Trump’s presidency “didn’t turn out the way [he] hoped”.
“And, lest any question remain, he is no ‘blind’ Trump supporter,” wrote the Deseret News reporter about Price.
“Damn straight I voted for the president,” Price told the reporter. “It didn’t turn out the way I hoped, but I don’t regret my decision.'”
Price explained his views in a video profile of Gen Z GOP for NBC.
“We want to see racial justice in this country, we want to see equality of the LGBTQ+ community, we want entitlement reform, to reform things like social security, which we’re paying into, but won’t get back,” he said.
Trump has strongly opposed both entitlement reform proposals and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Price has also advocated for the Republican Party to shift away from Trump’s skeptical attitude towards anthropogenic climate change, stating that the party could not provide “a viable political alternative to the left” without embracing the Democrat narrative on climate issues.
In 2017, Price left the Georgetown College Republicans after they invited an ex-Muslim speaker, Nonie Darwish. Darwish is quoted by Price as “warn[ing] of the dangers of Radical Islam and Sharia law”. In an op-ed, Price accused his former group of having “decided to support the shameful principles of hate speech” by not disinviting Darwish in response to leftist pressure.
“However, to hide behind our First Amendment right of freedom of speech to give a platform to a hatemonger is not only cowardly, but egregious and immoral,” Price wrote. “As Republicans, we should defend the Constitution, advocate for a flatter and fairer tax code and promote free enterprise, but we should never become a platform for hate speech.”
Leftists routinely accuse President Trump of “hate speech”, while conservatives – even relatively moderate ones – have been deeply critical of the use of this term to describe constitutionally-protected free speech.
Despite his clear differences with President Trump and past efforts to distance himself from Trump, Price is now bizarrely working for an organization which, according to Axios, has the “mission of perpetuating former President Trump’s populist policies”.
“Couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this amazing organization with some even more amazing patriots,” he said in a tweet that was retweeted by the America First Policy Institute.
Price is described on the America First Policy Institute’s website as a Policy Analyst in the institute’s Center for Opportunity Now, Center for Second Chances and Center for American Security. The bio makes no mention of his past position at Gen Z GOP.
The America First Policy Institute is set to be overseen by Brooke Rollins, the former director of the United States Domestic Policy Council in the Trump administration and a close ally of Jared Kushner. Axios also reported that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, are serving as informal advisers to the new organization. The primary legislative achievement of Kushner and Rollins in the Trump administration was the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform package.
Price’s involvement in the America First Policy Institute raises serious questions as to whether this organization will advance President Trump’s agenda or focus on promoting Jared Kushner’s much more liberal one.