Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) blasted Senate Democrats opposing Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state, saying Sunday they feared blowback from the left and were engaged in "shameful political behavior."
Cotton referred to Pompeo as someone "who will soon be Secretary Pompeo" earlier in his interview with CBS host Margaret Brennan. Cotton said Pompeo was "committed to diplomatic solutions everywhere" and knew the credible threat of military force was key to obtaining such solutions.
President Donald Trump tapped Pompeo to take over at the State Department after he fired Rex Tillerson last month. However, after sailing to confirmation as CIA Director last year, Pompeo has earned only one Democratic "yes" vote so far in Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.).
"The Democrats, especially on the Foreign Relations Committee, are really engaged in shameful political behavior," Cotton said.
He noted 14 Democrats and one independent who caucuses with the Democrats voted for Pompeo to be CIA Director last year and none of them, to his knowledge, had criticized his handling of that position.
"Ultimately, the secretary of state is conducting diplomacy on behalf of the president. Most of these Democrats don't have a problem with Mike Pompeo," Cotton said. "They are still struggling to get over the election of Donald Trump in 2016, or frankly, they face elections this year in 2018, and they're afraid of scaring the MoveOn.org or Code Pink crowd. It's really shameful behavior."
Democrats like Sens. Tim Kaine (Va.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) have flipped from supporting Pompeo last year to opposing him this year, citing reasons ranging from his conservative social views to claiming he is opposed to diplomacy.