Former HUD secretary: You can't just dump ideology into policymaking

The Axe Files, featuring David Axelrod, is a podcast distributed by CNN and produced at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. The author works for the podcast.

Chicago (CNN)President Donald Trump's travel ban was a bad idea that reflected his administration's flawed approach to policymaking, says a former Obama Cabinet secretary.

"You cannot just take an ideology and then dump that into policy implementation. You have to be able to operationalize policy," Julián Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
Castro offered his observations in a conversation last month, before the president's second attempt at a travel ban was held up in federal court and Friday's stunning collapse of the Republican health care plan.
    While acknowledging that Trump's core supporters likely approve of the travel ban as a promise kept, Castro said he believes "the larger impression that folks are getting is one of an incompetent administration."
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    During the hour-long conversation, Castro also discussed the critical impact many HUD programs have in rural and urban communities across America, despite the constraints of a limited budget.
    "Right now, HUD only serves one out of every four Americans that qualify for its programs," Castro said, before adding that the agency's staff has been cut in half since 1981. "I inherited a department that, while still doing tremendous work, really is not resourced at the level to meet the needs out there in the country."
    After the conversation with Castro took place, the Trump administration announced a budget blueprint that would cut HUD funding by $6 billion and eliminate a number of services and programs — including the Community Development Block Grant program, which Castro singled out as being crucial to helping under-resourced communities.
    When Castro became HUD Secretary in 2014, he was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and a young star in the Democratic Party. When asked whether he's considering running for president in 2020, Castro replied, "I said the other day that I won't take that off the table. There's a long time between now and 2020."
    To hear the whole conversation with Castro, click on To get "The Axe Files" podcast every week, subscribe at