Lincoln Journal Star: Ricketts, Fortenberry Hear Focus on America

Jan 20, 2017
In The News

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday he believes President Donald Trump made it clear in his inaugural address that he's going to make "what's good for America" his guiding priority, while "paying attention to all those who have been left behind."

"But he reached out to everybody in America," the governor said during a pause in his two-day sweep through inaugural events in Washington.

Trump's message to the world was "we'll work with you in a peaceful way," Ricketts suggested during a telephone interview.

A surprise bonus for Nebraskans in the inaugural address was the new president's reference to "the windswept plains of Nebraska," the governor said.

Ricketts visited briefly with Trump at a candlelight dinner Thursday night and had an opportunity to "congratulate him and wish him well" hours before the inauguration.

"We chatted a little about the Cubs and the World Series," Ricketts said.

The conversation included Tom Ricketts, the governor's brother and chairman of the Chicago team owned by the Ricketts family headed by Joe Ricketts, the governor's billionaire father.

His trip provided "a good opportunity to talk to the new policymakers" in Washington, Ricketts said.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln described Trump's speech as "a striking, direct call for a new healthy nationalism."

It was a message "to the people, about the people and for the people," the 1st District congressman said during a telephone call.

And the message to the world is that there's "a new sheriff in town," Fortenberry said. That means "the notion (of) not negotiating the best deals possible, not seeking out authentic friendships rather than just political or economic transactions is over," he said.

"He will be a very authoritative president," Fortenberry said. "But he will be about the business of devolving power (with) more for the legislative branch."

Next week, Fortenberry said, the Republican House majority will gather at a retreat focused on health care reform legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Fortenberry also encountered a president during the inaugural festivities.

The congressman and his daughter, Christine, 14, were in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday when former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton passed through and they stopped to shake hands.

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