Don't be shocked by Trump's moves, he's just keeping his promises, ex-Bush aide argues

From picking perceived outsiders for Cabinet positions to calling out certain American companies, nothing Donald Trump has done as president-elect should come as a surprise, former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told CNBC on Monday.

Agree with Trump or not, he's making moves based on promises he made during the campaign, said Gutierrez, who headed Commerce for President George W. Bush.

"[Trump] is behaving like an executive. This is like executive basics. You have a strategy and you put the right skills in a job to implement your strategy," Gutierrez, formerly CEO of Kellogg, said on "Squawk Box."

For example, he pointed to Trump's decision to chose Tom Price to head the Health and Human Services Department due to the Georgia congressman's intimate knowledge of Obamacare and how to dismantle it.

While Price was also a doctor, "conventional wisdom" might have pointed to retired neurosurgeon and former GOP rival Ben Carson for HHS, Gutierrez said. But Carson was selected for secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Gutierrez also spoke highly of Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, who's said to be Trump's choice for secretary of State. He called "unfair" aspersions about the oilman being a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin just because he's negotiated business contracts with Moscow.

"A lot of what's happening, whether it's happening in an orderly fashion or now, are things he ran on," argued Gutierrez, who said he did not support Trump during the campaign but aims to be objective.

"During the campaign, he said he's going to go after companies that outsource and export back in. That's what he's doing," Gutierrez said, referring to the deal Trump helped craft earlier this month with United Technologies to keep the firm's Carrier unit from closing a plant in Indianapolis.

Trump has also called out other American companies that have big government contracts. In a Monday morning tweet, Trump took a swipe at Lockheed Martin's F-35 program, saying the cost was "out of control." Last week, Trump tweeted a shot at Boeing, threatening to cancel its 747 Air Force One program.


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