INHOFE CASTS NO VOTE FOR KERRY AS NEXT SECRETARY OF STATE

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement after casting a no vote on the nomination of Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State:

“I have known Sen. Kerry for many years and consider him a friend, however, I am simply too philosophically opposed on the issues to support his nomination,” said Inhofe. “I do not believe that Kerry is a strong advocate of U.S. sovereignty, but favors expanding the powers of the United Nations at the expense of the U.S.  For example, Kerry was the leader, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), and supports most all sovereignty erodingtreaties involving the United Nations including the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, and the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty among others.  He was also the champion of the New START Treaty which threatens our nuclear deterrent and stewardship of our nuclear stock pile. 

“Kerry has also been a strong advocate for U.S. action on climate change.  While these discussions of a legislative solution have proved to be pointless since the Senate defeated global warming legislation in 2009, the topic remains a high priority for the international community. I expect Kerry will spend a significant amount of his time supporting the United Nations with a revived Kyoto Treaty to combat climate change, which would be devastating to every facet of our economy. 

"In addition, during the Cold War with the Soviets, Kerry opposed President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and instead supported a unilateral American nuclear freeze on the testing, production and deployment of nuclear warheads, missiles, and other delivery systems.  Calling SDI, 'Star-Wars,' Kerry questioned the lack of 'hard science and hard defense behind laser-shooting satellites.'  Today, of course, we know that such systems are possible, and it is indeed possible to hit a bullet with a bullet.

"In 1985, Kerry met with Sandinista Comandante Daniel Ortega and came back to the US advocating an end to US support for the resistance known as the ‘Contras’ and in support of Ortega and his Marxist regime. 

"And in the past few years, Kerry has made multiple trips to Syria and met with President Bashar Assad, who has murdered tens of thousands of his own people in its ongoing civil war.  As with his father before him, Assad seems willing to do anything to maintain power, but this fact seems to have escaped Senator Kerry.  As late as 2010, Kerry said of one meeting that ‘President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had’ and that Syria was ‘an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.’

"In this dangerous world filled with nuclear threats from tyrants in North Korea and Iran, Kerry’s lack of ability at times to distinguish between friend and foe is troubling.  And though he may have served the people of Massachusetts well as a U.S. Senator, I must conclude that it falls short of the requirements necessary to be the nation’s top foreign policy advisor.  I again state that I consider him a friend, but he has been, unfortunately, consistently on the wrong side of history."

Kerry was confirmed to succeed Sec. Hillary Clinton by a 94-3 vote. 

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