“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace laid into Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) for his party’s role in slowing down the confirmation process of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointees in an apparent attempt to score political points.
Noting that only seven of Trump’s Cabinet nominees have been confirmed when former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had gotten through 12 and 14 appointees respectively by the same date, Wallace asked: “Senator, isn’t this blatant Democratic obstruction?”
“Not at all,” Cardin fired back, insisting that congressional Democrats are aware that they do not have enough votes to actually stop any of the confirmations from going through.
“But you’re doing everything you can to slow them down,” Wallace said.
Cardin claimed that Democrats are taking so long to confirm Trump’s cabinet appointees because many of them have not served in public offices before and have not been subjected to the Senate’s scrutiny – a fact which Wallace suggested might actually be a good thing.
Later, Wallace reminded Cardin of the Democratic party’s response to the GOP’s obstruction to Obama’s second-term Cabinet. He quoted Cardin, who at the time said: “This is a pattern of blocking President Obama’s confirmation votes on his key cabinet positions.”
Cardin insisted that the Democrats had a minority in the Senate in both instances, rendering the party powerless to do anything but make its voice heard during the allotted debate time.
“Yeah, but on some of the committees, you boycotted them so they couldn’t have a vote,” Wallace rebutted.
Cardin, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced last month that he would not support Rex Tillerson’s confirmation for Secretary of State over concerns that the former ExxonMobil CEO would not be able to adequately divest his prior business dealings in Russia with his role as Trump’s diplomat. He was confirmed by a 56-43 vote.