Top Democrats are rallying the opposition to oppose Mike Pompeo as secretary of state because they don’t like his personal views on social issues that have nothing to do with his duties as America’s top diplomat. They’re also falsely casting him as “anti-Muslim” in an effort to quash his nomination.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen released a statement claiming Pompeo’s views on “the LGBTQ community, American Muslims, and women’s reproductive rights” are disqualifying factors.
I cannot support Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to serve as Secretary of State. My statement: pic.twitter.com/F9U3tMDWGR
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) April 17, 2018
Her statement was complemented by an announcement from Sen. Bob Menendez, who claims to have the same concerns.
"I'll be casting a 'no' vote on Director Pompeo to be Secretary of State' — @SenatorMenendez tells think tank; says Pompeo didn't reveal trip to North Korea during private meeting, showed no 'contrition' about outrageous statements about Muslims, LGBTQ
— Herb Jackson (@HerbNJDC) April 18, 2018
And then came a nearly identical statement from Sen. Ben Cardin
Mr. Pompeo has made repeated, damning statements about members of the Islamic faith and the LGBT community that are completely antithetical to American values. Those statements make it challenging for him to represent our country.
I cannot support his nomination for SecState.
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) April 18, 2018
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the same thing.
Pompeo has devalued religious tolerance and allied himself with anti-Islam and anti-LGBTQ groups. His regressive views on reproductive rights jeopardize women’s healthcare around the world. These are not the qualities we need in a Secretary of State.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 18, 2018
And other hard-left Democrats followed suit with the “Muslims, LGBTQ, and reproductive rights” template.
The claims concerning Pompeo’s supposed anti-Muslim stance are complete hogwash. He has indeed encouraged Muslim organizations and religious institutions to do more to condemn terrorism that comes from within their communities. Of course, he does so in the interests of national security, given that most terrorists are “known wolves,” or well known to governments and local communities before they act out. Also, as CIA director, Pompeo made clear that “each faith” should be treated equally. He has also touted his work with Muslim-majority countries.
As for the other issues, Pompeo is firmly pro-life, but it’s entirely unclear why his personal opposition to so-called “reproductive rights” would hamper his duties as secretary of state. The same goes for his stance on “LGBTQ” issues.
Nonetheless, Pompeo’s nomination is certainly on the ropes. Sen. Rand Paul is opposed to his candidacy, and Sen. John McCain is in Arizona dealing with cancer. Pompeo managed to gain the support of 15 Democrats when he was nominated for CIA director. He may have to rely on one of them to move him across the finish line. Sen. Joe Manchin, a somewhat moderate Democrat from West Virginia, remains “open” to supporting him.
The nomination proceedings come as Pompeo is in the critical stages of negotiations with the regime in North Korea. Over Easter weekend, President Trump sent Pompeo on a secret trip to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un directly, hoping to lay the groundwork for upcoming U.S.-North Korea diplomacy.