Kaine Won't Support Pompeo for Secretary of State: He Has 'Tendency to Oppose Diplomacy'

Kaine voted for Pompeo for CIA Director

April 15, 2018

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said Sunday he would vote against Mike Pompeo's confirmation to be the next Secretary of State, in spite of voting in favor of him to be CIA Director last year.

Kaine told CBS host Margaret Brennan on "Face The Nation" he had elected to not vote for him because he felt Pompeo was inclined to "oppose diplomacy." Pompeo was tapped by President Donald Trump to replace the fired Rex Tillerson.

"I've decided to vote against him to be Secretary of State," Kaine said. "I did vote for him as CIA Director. He has an intel background that I thought suited him for the position. But look, we have a president who is anti-diplomacy, and I worry that Mike Pompeo has shown the same tendency to oppose diplomacy. He was not just against the Iran deal when he was a House member, but he spoke about the relative ease of wiping out Iran's nuclear capacity with a bombing run."

"I don't want a Secretary of State who is going to exacerbate President Trump's tendencies to oppose diplomacy," Kaine added, hitting Trump for insulting allies and not sufficiently funding the State Department.

Pompeo, who graduated first in his class at West Point and served in the Persian Gulf War, addressed his "hawk" reputation during his confirmation hearing, saying war should always be "the last resort."

"There's no one like someone who understands the value of diplomacy and the terror and tragedy that is war like someone who has served in uniform," Pompeo said. "It's the last resort. It must always be so."

Kaine's "no" vote, along with other Democrats and Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) in opposition to Pompeo, means he will not get a favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It does not mean Pompeo won't be confirmed by the full Senate.