Trump, Others Designated Problem Solver By Non-Profit Group

Donald Trump is officially a problem solver.

That is the designation given to him by the No Labels organization, a non-partisan operation working to promote moderate politics in the hyperpolitical world. Trump, who has called for banning Muslims from entering the United States temporarily and has called for a wall along the Mexican border (paid for by Mexico), qualified for the designation after signing a pledge that he would pursue a set of fiscally-related policy changes with the first 30 days of his presidency.

No Labels is co-chaired by two former elected officials who ran on pragmatic politics; former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and former Gov. John Huntsman, Jr. (R-Utah). Other presidential aspirants who have signed the pledge – and thus earned the “problem solver” moniker – are Republicans Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Democratic former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland.

While the candidates can tout their pledge, the label does not equal an endorsement by No Labels, a problem the group encountered during the midterm elections in 2014. Some officials have complained the “problem solver” designation awarded just for signing the pledge could have a negative impact on moderating the hyperpolitical atmosphere, especially when some of the candidates are as outspoken and divisive as Trump, who maintains one of the lowest net favorability ratings in the campaign this year.

Founded in 2010, No Labels is a political organization focused on bridging the gap between political parties that has created gridlock in Washington in the past several years. The success of the group is unknown, though it has been able to raise millions of dollars since its inception, some of which has gone to modern digital marketing techniques such as this music video announcing the candidates who have signed its problem solver pledge. There is not a large list of victories for the group, just one bill (docking the pay of legislators if they fail to pass a budget) that did not make it to a vote.

The text of the promise is also vague:

If elected, I will gather House and Senate leaders from both parties within my first 30 days to begin work on at least one of the four goals in the National Strategic Agenda and to commit to a bipartisan process to achieve the agreed upon goal or goals.

The group caught some flak from Democrats in 2014 when it backed now-Sen. Gory Gardner (R-Colorado) over then-Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) during the midterm elections. This prompted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) to step down from the group, though many said he pressured to quit. That is when Lieberman took on the post.

The Associated Press was the first to report on the problem solver designation — not endorsement.

Speaking to the AP, Huntsman praised the six “very diverse” candidates for “thinking beyond the primary and thinking about the process that will need to be in place to get some really important things done for the American people.”

Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]