Why Hugh Hewitt Thinks Republicans Should Vote to Confirm Neera Tanden

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 7:00 AM
Why Hugh Hewitt Thinks Republicans Should Vote to Confirm Neera Tanden

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Neera Tanden’s nomination to be director of the Office of Management and Budget is in jeopardy after Republicans and some Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin, have said they will vote against her.

In the days ahead of her nomination Tanden deleted thousands of mean tweets, which many senators say are disqualifying.  

Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH, asked her about those statements during her confirmation hearing. 

“You wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz, you called Leader McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ and Voldemort,” Portman said.

Tanden, for her part, has apologized for her tweets and said she “regretted [her] tone.”

Salem radio host Hugh Hewitt believes this apology ought to be accepted and Republicans should embrace forgiveness and confirm her.  

“All political people, especially senators, should live with the same rules of political debate as the rest of us,” he wrote in The Washington Post. “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. By 19th-century standards she is actually tame. More to the point, it’s the 21st century; online and television and radio barbs are part of freedom’s fray.”

Hewitt said the director of the OMB is “almost an extension of the White House staff” and the position is not like a lifetime judicial appointment, where higher standards need to apply. Biden should get to choose his team.

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“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,” he said. 

In conclusion, Hewitt called on Republicans to take the high road and vote to confirm her, despite what she may have said on social media about them.

“The GOP may get played, but it’s in the interests of both parties to forgive the small stuff and encourage the recruitment of talent,” he said. “Confirm Tanden — and start a new page for executive branch nominees.”