Washington, D.C. — As backlash continues to grow against Senator John Kennedy for his harsh and questionable treatment of Biden administration nominees, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report showing that Kennedy’s offensive comments towards OCC nominee Saule Omarova and Judicial nominee Dale Ho are only the latest in his longer pattern of mistreating non-white nominees.
“While Senator Kennedy was doing the bidding of his big bank mega donors that fear an OCC headed by a consumer champion like Saule Omarova, he resorted to familiar racist and sexist smear tactics,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Kennedy frequently engages in hostile, demeaning and racially charged badgering when faced with nominees of color he opposes — but of course, the Senator had no problem supporting Trump nominees with histories of sexism and homophobia.”
The report details Kennedy’s history lodging harsh questions and loaded insinuations at public officials of color — both Biden nominees and nominees for major international roles. Unsurprisingly, Kennedy did not show similar abrasiveness when dealing with Trump-era nominees with demonstrated histories of making offensive or problematic comments.
The group’s analysis follows Kennedy’s recent attacks on Ho as too “angry” to be a federal judge — one many have identified as hypocritical after Kennedy’s staunch support of Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Senator’s comments also came just a couple of weeks after his widely criticized red-scare tactics against Omarova at her recent nomination hearing, telling her point blank that he didn’t “know whether to call [her] ‘professor’ or ‘comrade.’”
KEY FINDINGS FROM ACCOUNTABLE.US:
- Amidst a confirmation campaign that received broad criticism from Native American groups for opponents’ use of coded dog whistle language, Senator Kennedy accused Deb Haaland, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Interior Department, of being a “neo-socialist left-of-Lenin whack job.”
- Senator Kennedy joined in on attacks on judicial nominee Myrna Perez, who received criticism for advocacy against Republican laws which suppressed Americans’ voting access. Kennedy accused Perez of finding “new rights” in the Constitution and of advancing a Democratic voting rights agenda, later going on to accuse Perez of dodging his questions.
- On his personal Twitter account, Kennedy insinuated the Ethiopian Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, was “a suck up to the Communist party of China.” Kennedy also posted an edited video showing Dr. Tedros in Xi Jinping’s pocket.
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