Rubio Not Ready To Say Whether He'll Support Tillerson In Key Committee Vote

Bill Clark

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was unwilling to commit Wednesday to voting President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Because of the partisan split on the committee, his defection could stall the nomination.

"My view is the president deserves wide latitude in their positions, but the higher the position is the less latitude they have," Rubio told reporters after the hearing, in remarks broadcast by CNN. "Some positions, as the it gets higher and higher, the discretion becomes more limited and our scrutiny should become higher."

During Wednesday's confirmation hearings, Rubio grilled Tillerson on human rights, and at one point, Tillerson balked at calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "war criminal."

"These questions were designed for a specific reason, and that is, if we're going to have moral clarity in our foreign policy we need to be clear. And I don't want to see us move towards a foreign policy in which human rights matter when nothing else matters, when something more important isn't standing in the way," Rubio told reporters after the hearing.

Rubio added that he intended to go back and look through the Tillerson's answers before making the decision whether to support him.

"I have to make sure that I am 100 percent behind whatever decision that I make, because once I make it, it isn't going to change," Rubio said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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