Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a quick Sunday show moment, put the hush to Sen. John McCain’s lips.
McCain tried to shame the secretary in a recent New York Times opinion piece, suggesting Tillerson was killing off our overseas allies.
Like a giant hand swatting a pesky fruit fly, Tillerson hit back: You don’t know what you’re talking about, John.
Here’s the backstory. McCain, in his opinion piece, blamed Tillerson for advancing policies that were “simply transactional” and not based on U.S. values.
“Tillerson [has] sent a message to oppressed people everywhere, ‘Don’t look to the United States for hope,’ ” McCain wrote a week ago. “Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and when it’s convenient we might officially express that sympathy.”
The rhetoric was a bit harsh for a secretary of state who is simply trying to forge national diplomacy that was based, as President Donald Trump has called for across the board, an America first way of doing business. In other words, Tillerson isn’t planning on running his State Department as a bleeding heart liberal humanitarian assistance program.
Small surprise there — not. Tillerson’s actually conservative, unlike McCain.
But the secretary of state got his chance to respond to McCain’s public face-slap.
On Sunday, on “Meet the Press” on NBC, Tillerson said, The Hill noted: “America’s values of freedom, of treatment of people, human dignity, freedom of expression throughout the world, those are our values. Those are enduring values. They are part of everything we do. … But I make a distinction between values and policy. A policy has to be tailored to the individual situation. To the country. To its circumstances.”
“And so the values guide our policy, but if we put our values to the front of our policies … we have no room to adapt to changing circumstances to achieve our ultimate objective,” Tillerson went on.
Exactly once again.
And you know what he didn’t say but should have?
This: Let the big boys run the country, John. You just stay in your Senate seat and try not to get in the way.
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