Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt urged the Senate in a Washington Post opinion piece to confirm Neera Tanden as Office of Budget and Management director after several key centrist senators said they oppose her nomination.
Hewitt said that although he disagreed with controversial tweets Tanden sent while serving as the head of the liberal Center for American Progress, he did not think political opinions should be punished.
“All political people, especially senators, should live with the same rules of political debate as the rest of us,” Hewitt wrote. “They should not use their confirmation power to protect themselves from online criticism, however hurtful. Everyone draws the line at threats. But Tanden has just clobbered people the good old-fashioned way: with words.”
Hewitt argued that a bad temperament would be a more appropriate disqualification for a position such as a lifetime federal judgeship, but that “New presidents who have four years to succeed deserve their team in place, absent disqualifying personal flaws or other serious cause for concern. There are exceptions to every rule, but ‘mean tweets’ doesn’t even come close.”
Hewitt's remarks come as Sen. Joe Manchin, citing the tweets, became the first Democrat senator to say he would not vote for Tanden's nomination, The Hill reported. Two key Republican centrists, Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, added their opposition to her confirmation on Monday.
The announcements of opposition from the three senators means that Tanden does not appear to have much of a chance at confirmation.
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