President-Elect Donald Trump has been giving the left fits over his choices — and even his rumored picks — for his nascent administration and cabinet. But so far the left has lost its lunch the most over the choice of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.
Tillerson is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world’s sixth largest company in 2016. He has decades of experience in dealing with a multitude of governments across the globe with his job as one f the world’s top oilmen and this record is exactly the sort of experience that President-Elect Donald Trump touted.
In his announcement, Trump described Tillerson’s career as “the embodiment of the American dream.” Trump also tweeted that Tillerson is “one of the truly great business leaders of the world.”
I have chosen one of the truly great business leaders of the world, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary of State.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
The pick certainly fits well with a “drain the swamp” attitude and is also a good match for Trump’s desire to move forward without relying on the same old Washington insiders.
Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, a great Trump booster during the past campaign, called the nomination a “genius” pick.
“I think the Tillerson pick is frankly pretty genius,” the Fox News contributor said Tuesday on “Fox and Friends,” Ingraham said.
“He’s someone who is not ideological which frankly, right now in our foreign policy, I think is really important,” she continued.
“We have a lot of pragmatic decision to make in our foreign policy,” Ingraham added. “both with the way that we deal with the Middle East, with China, and with Russia. The idea that these career politicians, some of them are really upset that Rex Tillerson hasn’t been a career diplomat. I think to myself, we’ve had a lot of career diplomats, and some of them have made catastrophic decisions and given advice that has frankly proven to be quite calamitous for the United States.”
Indeed, the outside-the-box pick met with approval from many Trump fans.
It's kind of cool bringing super successful people into government. Isn't that what we should be doing?#RexTillerson
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) December 13, 2016
— USA NEWS (@USANEWS007) December 13, 2016
The Exxon CEO was also immediately met with praise from a long list of notables, some of whom were even members of the George W. Bush administration.
A compilation of these endorsements was assembled at Breitbart News and features praise from former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Bush National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, as well as former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles, and many others.
The growing group of past officials brought another list of serving Senators to Tillison’s support, as well.
Senator [score]Jeff Flake[/score], R-AZ, for instance, was impressed by the Bush administration figures who were so quick to celebrate Tillerson’s advancement.
“The fact that Condi Rice, James Baker and Bob Gates are recommending Tillerson carries considerable weight,” Flake tweeted on Tuesday. “I look forward to the hearings.”
The Foreign Relations Committee, on which Flake sits, will be first to consider Tillerson’s nomination before it heads to the full Senate floor.
A group of other GOP senators also sounded optimistic for Tillerson’s confirmation including Texas Senator John Cornyn, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Georgia’s Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and others.
Tillerson also got the quick endorsement of conservative activists such as Andrew Bowen of the American Enterprise Institute, Newt Gingrich, the Brookings Institution’s Suzanne Maloney, and Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation, as well as business leaders such as American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons, and Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric.
Amusingly even some of the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta showed some enthusiastic support of Mr. Tillerson. In fact, the hacked emails shows that the Clintons were complimentary of Tillerson’s work on education policy and even wanted him as part of their Clinton Foundation.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) December 13, 2016
But a tiny group of GOP Senators have also voiced concerns over Tillerson, especially over his past dealings with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Senators [score]Marco Rubio[/score] and [score]John McCain[/score] are chief among the naysayers.
Losing president candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio was one who quickly relayed his worries about Tillerson. “While Rex Tillerson is a respected businessman, I have serious concerns about his nomination,” Rubio said in a statement. “The next secretary of state must be someone who views the world with moral clarity, is free of potential conflicts of interest, has a clear sense of America’s interests, and will be a forceful advocate for America’s foreign policy goals to the president, within the administration, and on the world stage.”
For his part, McCain was even more pointed in his criticism.
“Frankly, I would never accept an award from Vladimir Putin because then you kind of give some credence and credibility to this butcher, this KGB agent, which is what he is,” McCain said of Tillerson’s award of the Russian “Order of Friendship” bestowed in 2013 for his work as a businessman by Vladimir Putin.
McCain was also unhappy with some of Tillerson’s past statements critical of U.S. sanctions against Russia.
But the usual suspects of the GOP offered mild criticism compared to the screaming mimis of the left. Tillerson has been attacked for being an evil capitalist, smeared as a “climate criminal,” and whacked as a friend of warmonger Vladimir Putin.
Left-wing commentator Doug Schoen has said the choice of Tillerson would be a “disaster” for the Department of State and the country. Schoen also slammed Tillerson for his association with Putin… though at the same time Schoen has earned millions working for Russia critic Ukraine. Naturally, Schoen never mentions any of this in his commentary.
Unsurprisingly, the extremist website ThinkProgess.org attacked Tillerson as a destroyer of the climate and the increasingly spittle-specked Salon.com complained that Tillerson doesn’t know the difference between what is good for the nation and what is good for the country.
Media outlets also got in the game of casting aspersions on Tillerson’s nomination with CNN insisting that Exxon would get undue “benefits” from lifting sanctions on Russia if Tillerson were to pursue that policy as Secretary of State.
— CNN (@CNN) December 13, 2016
The Associated Press insisted that the choice is taking a “big chance” for Trump to take because Tillerson has no experience in government.
The UK Guardian screamed that Tillerson “proved” that the November election was “Putin’s US election win.”
And liberals in general were furious over the pick.
Rex Tillerson and the new transnational oligarchy. https://t.co/2bQmCacOaY
— Troy Lee-Brown (@TTLeeBrown) December 14, 2016
the thing I like best about Rex Tillerson is his #RussianCrony trophy.
— Alison Lee (@AlisonLee_SL_UT) December 14, 2016
I mean with a name like Rex Tillerson it even sounds like he'd be a cartoon Texan oil tycoon who wears oversized cowboy hats
— sigmund void (@adammurd) December 14, 2016
— Amanda Larsson (@ecomanda) December 14, 2016
Ties to Putin Are Nothing Compared to Rex Tillerson's Vast Climate Crimes – https://t.co/8HfZRyT3HY
— Debbie Kerchee (@TsalagiOK) December 14, 2016