Connect with us

Politics

Cruz blasts Biden’s ‘incompetent’ cabinet picks, warns vulnerable Democrats of consequences 2024 elections

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cruz-blasts-bidens-incompetent-cabinet-picks-warns-vulnerable-democrats-consequences-2024-elections

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has taken aim at President Biden’s “incompetent” cabinet picks and issued a warning to Democratic senators who are on the ballot in 2024 that their support of the Biden administration and those who he nominates to serve in certain roles will be kept in check by the voters.

“It has been amazing, this cabinet, the combination of putting people in place who don’t have the experience to do the job, putting people in place who are incompetent and nominating people because they’re ideologues and the two are intertwined,” Cruz told Fox News Digital of the Biden administration.

Cruz’s comments came Friday from Palm Beach, Florida, where he addressed dozens of major Republican contributors gathered at a donor retreat hosted by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.

Discussing Biden’s nomination of Denver International Airport (DIA) CEO Phil Washington to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cruz said he wondered “what senator, particularly what Democrat senator on the ballot in 2024,” would “risk” support to vote in favor of Washington — whom he said “knows absolutely nothing about aviation safety.”

SEN. TED CRUZ CALLS BIDEN FAA NOMINEE UNQUALIFIED, SAYS WHITE HOUSE ‘PLAYING POLITICS’ WITH SAFETY

Phil Washington during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee nomination hearing in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2023.

Phil Washington during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee nomination hearing in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2023. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg)

“Phil Washington knows absolutely nothing about aviation safety, has no background in aviation safety,” Cruz said. “Now this is the guy in charge of the FAA, in charge of all the air traffic controllers, in charge of making sure that that flying on an airplane is safe. He’s not a pilot. He wasn’t a military pilot. He wasn’t a commercial pilot. He’s never been an air traffic controller. He’s never worked at an airline. He’s never worked in an airline manufacturer. He’s never worked at any place repairing airplanes. It is truly stunning.”

Though Washington made a career in the armed forces, Cruz said Washington’s military service “had zero to do with aviation.”

“He’s been a Democrat appointee running the L.A. Metro and now running for 20 months the Denver airport,” Cruz added of Washington. “But look, the important thing in running the Denver airport, it’s essentially a giant shopping mall. He’s running the restaurants. He’s running the coffee shops and the newsstands and the parking spaces. He doesn’t run the air traffic controllers. He doesn’t run the pilots. He doesn’t run the airplanes. He runs the physical plant. And by law, the head of the FAA has to have expertise in aviation.”

Washington was first nominated by Biden last year, but he failed to advance amid concerns from Republicans about his experience. His confirmation has been further stalled by allegations of discriminatory and retaliatory practices by Washington at DIA and his involvement with a corruption investigation at LA Metro.

TED CRUZ SAYS 2024 SENATE RE-ELECTION WILL BE ‘FIREFIGHT’ AS DEMOCRATS COME AT HIM WITH ‘EVERYTHING THEY HAVE’

Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a hearing on the nomination of Phil Washington on Capitol Hill on March 01, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a hearing on the nomination of Phil Washington on Capitol Hill on March 01, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Washington was CEO at LA Metro, which is being investigated after it awarded a pricey contract for a sexual harassment hotline — the hotline was found to cost over $8,000 per call it received — that was awarded to a charity run by a close friend of an LA Metro board member. Washington has denied wrongdoing, but Cruz has called on the Senate to proceed slowly with his nomination in light of these allegations and other whistleblower claims of misconduct.

The Texas senator, who has represented the Lone Star state in the Senate since 2013, said it “is shocking that the Biden administration would treat this job, a very specialized position, as essentially a patronage position, a place to give political spoils to support the political bodies of their Democrat supporters.”

During his interview with Fox, Cruz also took direct aim at Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, who he said is responsible for “crisis after crisis” during Biden’s continuing tenure in the White House.

“Pete Buttigieg was the mayor of a small town, and suddenly, this president put him in charge of the Department of Transportation, a massive cabinet agency,” Cruz said. “In two years, we’ve had crisis after crisis after crisis all on his watch.”

Pointing to specific instances of what he considered to be failures under the transportation department, Cruz blasted Buttigieg for his handling of supply chain issues, a near nationwide rail strike, and the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a visit to the Norfolk Southern crash site in East Palestine, Ohio.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a visit to the Norfolk Southern crash site in East Palestine, Ohio. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“We had we came within inches of a nationwide rail strike, which would have had massive economic repercussions. We’ve got the price of gasoline skyrocketing,” he said. “Under Buttigieg, we had the first aviation ground stop, all civil aviation grounded since September 11. Why? Because the FAA, on his watch, screwed up and messed up what’s called the NOTAM system and ended up grounding every plane in America. And then you’ve got the derailment in East Palestine, where for two weeks he wouldn’t show up.”

Cruz said he believes it was former President Donald Trump’s trip to the devastated Ohio region last week that pushed Buttigieg to finally make a trip to the town.

“It took Donald Trump going there and guilting him into doing his job,” Cruz said. “I asked at CPAC, ‘What the heck does this guy have to do to get fired?’ At some point competence matters.”

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo contributed to this article.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cruz-blasts-bidens-incompetent-cabinet-picks-warns-vulnerable-democrats-consequences-2024-elections

Politics

House Republicans accuse NIH of ‘stonewalling’ on ‘supercharged monkeypox experiment’

House Republicans are pressing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for answers after the agency funded research experiments they say could result in a “supercharged” monkeypox virus

In a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and two subcommittee chairmen are demanding that the agency turn over documents and information regarding a government-funded experiment that reportedly involves swapping monkepox genes with a deadlier version of the virus. The lawmakers want to know whether this project was approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board tasked with oversight of research involving enhanced pathogens that could potentially cause a pandemic. 

This letter is a follow-up to an October 31, 2022, letter to which Republicans say the NIH never responded. GOP lawmakers accused NIH of “stonewalling” in a press release. 

“Based on the available information, it appears the project is reasonably anticipated to yield a lab-generated monkeypox virus that is 1,000 times more lethal in mice than the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans and that transmits as efficiently as the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans. The risk-benefit ratio indicates potentially serious risks without clear civilian practical applications,” the Republicans wrote. 

FORMER CDC DIRECTOR SLAMS GAIN-OF-FUNCTION RESEARCH: ‘PROBABLY CAUSED THE GREATEST PANDEMIC’ IN HISTORY

This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. 

This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.  (NIAID via AP, File)

“Accordingly, this experiment would seem to involve risks reasonably anticipated to create, transfer, or use [potential pandemic pathogens] resulting from the enhancement of a pathogen’s transmissibility or virulence in humans. Thus, under the circumstances, we are interested in learning whether this experiment was reviewed under the HHS P3CO framework used to review research proposals posing significant biosafety or biosecurity risks.” 

The project leader is Dr. Bernard Moss, a veteran poxvirus researcher at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. An article in Science magazine described his efforts to learn the differences between two variants of monkeypox virus: clade 2, the West African variant that caused a global outbreak last year, and clade 1, which is believed to be deadlier and has caused outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. 

Moss’ research involves swapping the genes of the two variants, one at a time, to discover whether a specific gene in the clade 1 virus makes it deadlier. The Republicans want to know whether these lab experiments could artificially enhance the clade 2 variant. 

AFRICA’S CDC HOPES MPOX VACCINES WILL ARRIVE IN ‘ANOTHER TWO WEEKS,’ AFTER MONTHS OF SEEKING DOSES

This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. 

This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage.  (CDC via AP, File)

Such research, known as “gain-of-function,” is highly controversial, because it involves extracting viruses from animals to artificially engineer in a laboratory to make them more transmissible and deadly to humans. Proponents say these experiments can help scientists understand the nature of viruses and develop new treatments and vaccines. Skeptics warn that gain-of-function experiments are one lab accident away from causing another global pandemic

Moss did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

FOX NEWS POLL: MAJORITY SAYS BIDEN TRYING TO COVER UP ORIGINS OF COVID-19

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak demanding answers on a government-funded project involving a manipulated monkeypox virus. 

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak demanding answers on a government-funded project involving a manipulated monkeypox virus.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Human disease associated with clade 2 or West African monkeypox virus infection is less severe and is associated with less than one percent mortality, whereas clade 1 or Congo Basin monkeypox infection has a 10 percent case fatality rate in unvaccinated persons,” the Republicans wrote. “Because of its significantly greater lethality, clade 1 or Congo Basin clade monkeypox viruses are regulated as select agents by the Federal Select Agents Program. Entities that possess, use, or transfer this agent must comply with the HHS Select Agent and Toxin Regulations unless there is an applicable exemption or exclusion. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Thus,” the letter continues, “under these regulations, it would appear the clade 1 monkeypox virus experiment is a restricted experiment that must be reviewed by the Federal Select Agent Program, and may be further reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC’s) Intragovernmental Select Agents and Toxins Technical Advisory Committee (ISATTAC).” 

The Republicans want NIH officials and employees to testify about Moss’ project and other related matters. They gave NIH an April 13, 2023, deadline to respond to their inquiry. 

Continue Reading

Politics

DeSantis targets Biden in swing state Pennsylvania, says Democratic Party ‘dead’ in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took multiple jabs at President Biden on Saturday during a stump speech in Pennsylvania.

DeSantis, speaking at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference 2023, called Biden a “floundering leader” and said the president’s poor performance contributed to Republican gains. 

“We are in the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican candidate for governor has ever received in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis told the audience. “We were able to flip Democrat counties or urban counties like Miami-Dade County. And not only did we flip it, we won it by double digits.”

DISNEY THWARTS DESANTIS’ OVERSIGHT BOARD TAKEOVER USING BIZARRE LEGAL TIE TO KING CHARLES III OF ENGLAND

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. (Screenshot/)

“It’s been a massive defeat for the Democratic Party,” the Florida governor said. “They did not want to see Florida go red. They threw everything but the kitchen sink to stop us. And yet, we have left the Democratic Party for dead in the state of Florida.”

The Florida governor has been walking a political tightrope for months as he refuses to officially declare his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

At the same time, he has butted heads with both the Biden administration and former President Donald Trump’s campaign — both of whom view him as a rival for the presidency.

TRUMP ALLIES STEP UP ATTACKS ON DESANTIS AHEAD OF 2024: ‘HE’S NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT’

In speeches this year, the governor has pitched his numerous conservative policy victories in Florida as a roadmap for the entire nation. 

Sources in DeSantis’ wider orbit have said that any presidential campaign launch would come in the late spring or early summer, after the end of Florida’s current legislative session. 

However, the governor’s recent stops in the early-voting states of Iowa and Nevada and a trip next month to New Hampshire are sparking more 2024 speculation.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

President Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touring an area impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, in October 2022.

President Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touring an area impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, in October 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

DeSantis said earlier this week that his state “will not assist” in any extradition request by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg amid what he called “questionable circumstances” while slamming the charges against Trump as “un-American” and a “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.” 

The former president and 2024 Republican presidential candidate was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Politics

Biden visits University of Pennsylvania campus for the first time since classified documents controversy

President Biden on Saturday visited the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the first time since a controversy over the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington D.C.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden stopped by the university to visit Maisy Biden’s senior art show at a university gallery. It marks the first time Biden has visited the campus since the emergence in November of documents with classified markings at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.

Those documents were said to be from the Obama-Biden administration and were discovered “unexpectedly” by Biden’s personal attorneys. The emergence of the documents was followed by assessments by the FBI and Department of Justice.

BIDEN HAS ‘NO COMMENT’ ON TRUMP INDICTMENT

President Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday, March 31, 2023, before boarding Marine One. 

President Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday, March 31, 2023, before boarding Marine One.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In January, the Department of Justice announced it was investigating the discovery of the documents, and Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was appointing Robert Hur as special counsel.

Attorneys also found batches of documents at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. Four batches of classified materials have been found in Biden’s possession in total, dating from both his time as vice president and as a senator from Delaware. 

DOJ SEARCHES BIDEN DELAWARE BEACH HOME AMID CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT INVESTIGATION

In February, FBI agents searched Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for three and a half hours but did not find additional classified documents. The search was carried out on Hur’s first day on the job as special counsel.

Biden has addressed the controversy, saying his team is cooperating fully with the DOJ and suggested that his staff was to blame for not finding the documents when he left office in 2017.

WHITE HOUSE STONEWALLS FOX NEWS’ PETER DOOCY ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS: ‘WHY DID HE DO IT?’

President Biden delivers remarks during a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Jan. 24, 2023. 

President Biden delivers remarks during a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Jan. 24, 2023.  (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“But one of the things that happened is that what was not done well is as they packed up my offices to move them, they didn’t do the kind of job that should have been done to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that’s there,” Biden said. “But I’ll just let the investigation, you know, decide what’s going on, and we’ll see what happens.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

House Republicans have promised to investigate Biden’s handling of classified materials, with Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., telling Fox News that “nothing that Joe Biden’s done with respect to mishandling these classified documents is normal.” 

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Trending