The editorial boards of the New York Daily News and USA Today endorsed Mike Pompeo's confirmation as secretary of state just as senators gear up to vote on the president’s nominee.
USA Today’s editorial board has been outspoken in its opposition to President Donald Trump, and the Daily News’ board is known for being consistently on the left. Both, however, found reasons to support Pompeo's confirmation, owing to his qualifications and the need for the State Department to have capable leadership.
"Unless a nominee has clear ethical or competency failings, presidents should be accorded wide latitude to select top aides whom they trust and agree with," USA Today’s board wrote. "Pompeo passes that test and merits approval."
The USA Today board registered its concerns about Pompeo’s hawkish views, his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and his agreement to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords. The editors said a successful attempt by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to reject Pompeo in a vote Monday would, nevertheless, only be a "Pyrrhic, short-term victory."
Pompeo "would be branded the only secretary of State ever rejected by the committee," USA Today’s board wrote. "Regardless of what the committee does, however, his fate will almost certainly reach the Senate floor for approval."
The board commended Pompeo for being willing to negotiate on the Iran deal and overcoming his "discomfort" with gay marriage to support LGBTQ rights around the world.
"Pompeo is far from the worst of Trump's picks and, if he is confirmed and lives up to his confirmation hearing pledges, he has the potential to be one of the better ones," the board concluded.
The Daily News board took an even harsher tone toward some of Pompeo’s views. The board expressed worry about Pompeo "heightening tensions" with Muslims over a "history of inflammatory statements about Islam," but it concluded he is a "solid-enough selection."
"Pompeo would not be our choice to be America’s top diplomat, but unlike other patently unqualified Trump Cabinet picks, he is a solid-enough selection who deserves Senate consent," the board wrote.
The Daily News board also wrote Pompeo could do a better job leading the department than former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:
In hearings, Pompeo committed to rebuilding a State Department where experienced staff fled in droves and morale hit rock bottom during the feckless leadership of Tillerson.
Pompeo also has solid knowledge of the world, the discipline to oversee complex diplomacy and — a double-edged sword, we admit — the trust of a President who seems to believe in almost no one.
That’ll have to do. Confirm him.