On Pompeo nomination, Bill Nelson and Rick Scott find common ground

Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. (Photos by George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voted against most of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet picks in early 2017, including a No vote on Mike Pompeo for CIA director.

But Nelson will vote for Pompeo to be secretary of state, the senator’s office announced late Wednesday.

Nelson hinted at a change of heart last week, telling The Tampa Bay Times that he saw Pompeo in “a better light” after learning of his secret trip to North Korea to discuss denuclearization with Kim Jong Un.

Facing a re-election challenge this year from Republican Gov. Rick Scott, Nelson took a pounding from Scott and the GOP this week before finally announcing his position on Pompeo.

“This position is critical to our national security interests and Senator Nelson needs to do what is right and stop playing politics in an election year. I am hopeful he will take a break from being a rubber stamp for the Democratic leadership in Washington,” Scott said Wednesday morning before Nelson announced his position.

After Nelson announced he’ll vote for Pompeo, Scott expressed barbed gratitude.

“Glad @SenBillNelson came to his senses after voting against Mike Pompeo last year. Maybe if every year was an election year Nelson wouldn’t be such a party line politician,” said a Wednesday night tweet on Scott’s campaign Twitter account.


Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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