CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday delivered a withering takedown of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s knock on President-elect Joe Biden’s “Ivy League” Cabinet picks.
The Florida senator faced criticism for tweeting on Tuesday that Biden’s selection of foreign policy advisers all “went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline.”
“I support American greatness and I have no interest in returning to the ‘normal’ that left us dependent on China,” Rubio concluded.
Keilar took issue on many fronts. First, she pointed out that Rubio is criticizing these professionals for being qualified, educated and well-connected in their fields.
“It is a rejection of experience and expertise that permeated the Republican Party even before President Trump,” she said.
Rubio didn’t mention that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the first U.S. president/vice president duo in 40 years not to have any Ivy League degrees, Keilar added. Biden graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, and Harris graduated from Howard University in 1986.
Rubio failed to note as well that President Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted about his Ivy League education, Keilar said. She also pointed out that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, whose White House portfolio “constantly eclipses his expertise,” attended Harvard.
“It was revealed that Kushner’s attendance followed his father donating $2.5 million to the school,” she noted.
In today’s #RollTheTape, @brikeilarCNN looks at Sen. Marco Rubio “cynically poking” at the Ivy League educations of Biden’s Cabinet picks.
“It is a rejection of experience and expertise that permeated the Republican Party even before President Trump,” she says. pic.twitter.com/xtXbxhHwe2
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 25, 2020
While acknowledging that Rubio’s remarks could be interpreted as an attack on elitism, a valid conversation to have, Keilar said the senator was substituting education in general as the punching bag.
“Increasingly, Republicans in power have banished their own principles and instead are focused on what? Tearing things down. Like education, expertise, science, facts that will keep Americans safe,” she said. “How can America have a reasoned policy debate when some members of one party, many members of one party, have said coronavirus is a hoax? When they won’t acknowledge reality.”
She slammed Rubio for taking a “cheap shot” at the incoming administration, “who are only now receiving the first transition briefings in the last day because President Trump and most Republicans haven’t acknowledged that they won the election. Unless you plan on doing that today, Senator Rubio.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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