Biden's OMB Pick Neera Tanden Faces the Music for Demonizing Ted Cruz

AP Photo/Mel Evans

On Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) grilled Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee to become the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), quoting her notorious statements demonizing Republicans. The Senate held a confirmation hearing for Tanden on Tuesday.


“I believe that the tone, the content, and the aggressive partisanship of some of your public statements have added to the troubling trend of more incivility and division in our public life, and in your case, I’m concerned that your personal attacks on specific senators will make it more difficult for you to work with them,” Portman said, noting that the OMB director has to work with members of both parties.

Portman gave examples of “a few of the thousands of negative public statements” Tanden made. “You wrote that Susan Collins (R-Maine) is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is a ‘fraud,’ that ‘vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz’ (R-Texas). You called Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) ‘Moscow Mitch,’ and ‘Voldemort,’ and on and on,” he noted.

“I deeply regret and apologize for my language, some of my past language,” Tanden said. “I recognize that this role is a bipartisan role and that I have to earn the trust of senators across the board.”

Portman also noted that even after Tanden deleted thousands of tweets after the November election, nine pages of her negative tweets about Cruz remained on Twitter.


“For those concerned about my rhetoric and my language, you know, I’m sorry and I’m sorry for any hurt that they’ve caused,” Tanden added, Fox News reported. “I deleted tweets because I regretted my tone and I’ve deleted tweets over many months.”

Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress (CAP) has not just attacked Republicans in the past. During the presidential primary race in 2019, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a fiery letter to CAP, accusing Tanden of “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas.”

Sanders criticized a video from ThinkProgress, a project of CAP’s Action Fund, that slammed him for changing his rhetoric on wealthy Americans after he became a millionaire in 2016.

While the Democratic-majority Senate has confirmed most of Biden’s nominees so far, Tanden may fall short of the majority required for confirmation.


Tanden should be radioactive for many reasons, including the fact that she celebrated when Rupert Murdoch’s house burned down, not to mention her extreme-left positions on key economic issues, which will undermine her ability to analyze government policy.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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