Boise, Idaho (CNN) When Donald Trump won the US presidential election, he was a celebrity in the state of Idaho.
It was the only place he could get a full-time job.
But the Republican governor of Idaho’s largest city saw that business couldn’t keep up with his booming popularity.
And so he began cutting back on services and regulations in an attempt to make Idaho a better place for people like him.
“We are a country of laws,” said Gov.
Matt Mead, a Democrat.
“But we are also a country where people don’t want to follow those laws.”
Mead’s decision to cut back on state services in 2016 was a political gamble.
Many Americans were looking for someone to blame when things didn’t go their way.
Mead, who was also the Republican Party’s nominee for governor, had to defend himself against accusations that he had failed to make the state a better and safer place to live.
“If I had been in charge, we would have had a better economy, better infrastructure, a better quality of life,” Mead said in a recent interview.
Mead has since taken the reins of the state’s economy, a turnaround for the nation’s third-largest state after California and New York.
He has created thousands of jobs, helped the state to break out of its deep recession and put Idaho on a path toward becoming a “fiscal and economic powerhouse,” as Mead put it.
The turnaround has not come easy.
Mead cut taxes and cut spending in an effort to create jobs.
But a new report by the Idaho Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Boise, says the changes were not enough to keep the state from being a less-favorable place to do business.
For instance, Mead cut regulations, such as the requirements that businesses hire Idahoans, by 50% last year, according to the Idaho Business & Industry Council.
The institute also found that the Idaho Department of Natural Resources cut its budget by 5% and its workforce by 1% in 2017.
That resulted in an increase in state taxes, which are one of the biggest contributors to state revenue.
And Mead has cut services, too.
The state cut nearly 1,200 jobs last year.
That includes about 800 positions in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness, the state Department of Corrections and the Idaho Highway Patrol, as well as hundreds of positions in schools and other agencies.
Mead says the cuts in services have contributed to Idahoans feeling “less safe and secure” in their daily lives, and that he wants to do better.
“When you cut services you are actually hurting the people who are actually using those services,” Mead told CNN.
“You are taking away the value that people bring to the state.”
The cuts were part of a trend that Mead says he was trying to reverse.
Mead had a reputation as a fiscal conservative, which is one reason he took on the role of governor.
But when he ran for president in 2016, Mead made his opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act a major part of his campaign platform.
Mead also campaigned on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Care Act, which he said was “a disaster for millions of Idahoans and has made our state less safe.”
Mead had said he would repeal the law “if I were president.”
But after his victory, Mead announced he would keep his promise and make sure “every American has the health care they deserve.”
In 2018, Mead signed an executive order that reversed the Trump administration’s decision, in a move that he said “was a mistake.”
He also took on federal subsidies for the purchase of insurance.
That was an attempt by Mead to reverse the impact of the ACA on the state.
The move was seen as a move to create competition in the marketplace, which Mead believes hurts low-income people and other businesses.
Mead said he is still committed to repealing the ACA, but that he will work to make sure people have the health insurance they need.
Mead was also one of many Republicans to push back against President Donald Trump’s order to temporarily halt the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive orders.
Mead is not the only governor in the country to try to reverse Trump’s actions.
Doug Ducey, who had been an outspoken critic of the president, reversed his stance on Tuesday.
Duceys decision to reverse his stance drew fire from some Republicans, who said he should have done so years ago.
Durden has also been one of a number of governors to call Trump out on his anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
In his latest speech, Durden called out Trump for the comments he made in an interview with a local ABC affiliate.
“He called transgender children, transgender women, women, girls, girls in bathrooms, he said, ‘don’t be ashamed,’ ” Durden said.
“It’s a very, very dangerous, dangerous position for a leader of a free and open society to take.”
Durden’s speech was one of several that took aim at Trump’s rhetoric,