Rubio Backs Tillerson

Rubio Backs Tillerson

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Shanna Nelson, Outreach Chair

After much questioning about whether or not Florida Senator Marco Rubio would back Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State Florida Senator Marco Rubio has decided to support Rex Tillerson. Rubio and others have been skeptical about Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, due to his business ties to Russia. Tillerson was the CEO and Chairman of Exxon Mobil from 2006-2016 and was the director of the joint US-Russian Exxon Mobil subsidiary Exxon Neftegas. During Tillerson’s confirmation hearing, Rubio called Tillerson’s answers “ ‘troubling’ and “discouraging” when he refused to commit to tougher steps against Russia in the wake of the country’s well-documented interference in the recent presidential election. He had also showed frustration when Tillerson would not agree with the senator that Putin was a ‘war criminal’ for Russia's actions in Syria”, USA Today Reported.

Rubio also had good things to say about Tillerson: "I was encouraged by a number of his answers throughout this process. He acknowledged that Russia conducted a campaign of active measures designed to undermine our elections. He stated that Russia’s taking of Crimea was illegal and illegitimate. He affirmed that our NATO ‘Article V commitment is inviolable.’ ... He accurately characterized the conflict in eastern Ukraine as a Russian invasion, and he supports providing defensive weapons to Ukraine."

Democrats have attacked Rubio on the subject, saying he caved to the party politics of the decision, but his decision was most likely made easier after other Republican lawmakers have come out in support. In a joint statement, Lindsay Graham and John McCain gave their support.

In the full statement from The Blaze:

After careful consideration, and much discussion with Mr. Tillerson, we have decided to support his nomination to be Secretary of State. Though we still have concerns about his past dealings with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, we believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests.

‘Now more than ever, with America’s friends growing more discouraged and our enemies growing more emboldened, we need a Secretary of State who recognizes that our nation cannot succeed in the world by itself. We must strengthen our alliances and partnerships across the globe, and marshal them to defend our shared vision of world order. It is the American people more than anyone else who have benefited from this long tradition of U.S. global leadership. The views that Mr. Tillerson has expressed, both privately and publicly during the confirmation process, give us confidence that he will be a champion for a strong and engaged role for America in the world.’

Marco Rubio had said that Tillerson would need to clear up some of his reservations before he could back him, and apparently Tillerson was able to do that. He did say that he didn’t want to be a roadblock for the new president this early in the administration, and while reservations are good to have, a united party willing to give President Trump and his cabinet a chance is vital for our country and for the sake of the Republican party. Despite his failed attempt at the Presidency and the somewhat negative relationship he and Trump had on the campaign trail, Rubio is able to look past that and give Trump and Tillerson a chance, giving Republicans a good outlook on party relations for the upcoming administration.

Follow this author on Twitter: @shannadnelson 

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