GOP senators target Pentagon nominee over 'offensive' tweets

Similarly, Republicans said Fulton’s tweets displayed prejudice against Republicans and Evangelicals and wondered if she could effectively run the sprawling workforce.

Fulton apologized for several of the tweets, calling it “always wrong to tarnish a whole group of people with the beliefs or actions of one or a few”.

Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota followed by other Republicans noted a tweet from January 2018 to label the GOP as “racist” because it does not promote racism. “Let’s be honest,” wrote Fulton. “If either of our two national political parties is unable to proclaim racism, our system is broken. It is not a political statement to say that the GOP is racist; it is a moral proposition backed by an increasing mountain of evidence. # Fix that. “

Fulton replied that she regretted the tweet and said she wanted to convey that fighting racism is a moral issue that extends beyond the party.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you and all members of the committee for this tweet. My intention was to say that racism is neither democratic nor republican, that it is not a political problem, but a moral problem.” “Said Fulton Rounds. “But I got it all wrong. The words are tangled and confused, and I deeply regret them.”

Several other Republicans criticized her comments on social media, targeting tweets and utterances criticizing evangelical Christians. Cotton quotes a tweet from June 2014 that followed the Supreme Court Hobby lobby The decision that argued that the principle of religious freedom has “been twisted to mean that conservative Christians can dictate their beliefs to the rest of us”.

“I think you will understand why so many members of this committee and the Senate think you are unfit to take this position,” said Cotton. “You will be responsible for military chaplains. You will be named Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Reserve Affairs and have a long history of insulting, inflammatory accusations against Bible-believing Christians. I hope the entire Senate will of course oppose it too. “

At the start of the hearing, senior Republican Jim Inhofe also urged Fulton whether she intended to change policy on military chaplains’ rights and whether she viewed conservatives who, like himself, oppose the right to abortion as “radical” . Fulton said she doesn’t either.

Fulton said she supported religious freedom, arguing that her record in the military and beyond shows that she has consistently worked with people of different views.

Quoting her tenure as a member of the US Military Academy’s Visitors Committee, she said some of her closest working partners were Republican members of Congress, which was checking the name of the GOP appropriator of the house, Steve Womack of Arkansas.

“I’m a Christian,” Fulton said when speaking to Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. “As I have done throughout my career, I will work side by side with Republicans, with Democrats, with independents, with anyone regardless of political belief, for the mission to do the best for our armed forces.”

Fulton, a former Army captain, graduated from West Point in 1980 and was a member of the first class that accepted women.

Fulton was appointed to the West Point Board of Visitors by then President Barack Obama in 2011, making him the board’s first openly gay member. She was also a vocal supporter of the repeal of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned gay troops from open service.

Fulton isn’t the first of Biden’s Pentagon candidates to be raked in by Senate Republicans for previous tweets.

Kahl’s nomination ran into trouble over previous tweets criticizing GOP officials and the policies of the Trump administration.

After a bumpy confirmation hearing apologizing for “disrespectful” rhetoric posted on social media, all of the Senate Republicans turned down his nomination. Kahl was finally narrowly confirmed in April.

Biden’s first election to head the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, was withdrawn in March, fearing that Senators’ criticism of her tweets would cause her to lack votes.

Towards the end of Thursday’s hearing, Armed Forces Chairman Jack Reed (DR.I.) came to Fulton’s support and found that he was aware of “no complaints” from subordinates or superiors and concluded that their personal opinions were correct “Do not affect your professional activities. “

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