Liberal Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he is voting against CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, saying he has “has shown the same tendency” to oppose diplomacy as President Donald Trump.
“I have decided to vote against him to be secretary of state,” Kaine said. “I did vote for him as CIA director. He has an intel background that I thought suited him for the position.”
“But look, we have a president who is anti-diplomacy,” said Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2016. “And I worry that Mike Pompeo has shown the same tendency to oppose diplomacy.”
“He was not just against the Iran deal when he was a House member,” said Kaine, “but he spoke about the relative ease of wiping out Iran's nuclear capacity with a bombing run. He has supported regime change.”
CBS host Margaret Brennan responded, “Well, senator, that's significant that you're saying that you're not going to vote for him, because this would mean he's the first nominee to be secretary of state to not get a favorable recommendation by that committee. But this still doesn't stop him from becoming America's top diplomat. He can still get confirmed.”
Kaine replied, “Well, you're right. We're going to have a floor vote. And I'm telling you what my vote is. I don't want a secretary of state who is going to exacerbate President Trump's tendencies to oppose diplomacy.”
He continued, “You have seen Donald Trump try to underfund State Department and USAID, not appoint key ambassadors, tweet out insults about foreign leaders, back the United States out of international agreements and organizations.”
“We do not need a secretary of state who is going to exaggerate those tendencies,” said Kaine. “We need a secretary of state who is going to stand up for strong diplomacy. And I don't believe that is Director Pompeo's inclination.”