Rubio Still Concerned Over Bridenstine’s Nomination to Run NASA

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-OK) confirmation hearing apparently did nothing to assuage the doubts of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) over his suitability to serve as NASA’s next administrator.

“I remain very concerned about the politicization of NASA, not even because he would do it on purpose but just given some of the resistance he’s already engendered,” Rubio said in an interview Friday. “I don’t think NASA at this critical stage of its history can afford that … As of this moment, I can’t assure anyone that I would support his nomination if it came to a vote.”

Rubio’s comments are his strongest yet and suggest that his initial misgivings when President Donald Trump announced Bridenstine’s nomination in early September have only grown.

A broad swath of Democrats from Washington Sen. Patty Murray to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson have already announced their opposition to Bridenstine over a range of his past statements, including ones skeptical of climate science and opposing same-sex marriage.

Bridenstine’s nomination requires approval of the full Senate. Republicans hold a 52-48 advantage in the upper chamber, which means the Congressman cannot afford to lose many GOP votes.

  • Tom Billings

    The only real question is “What does Rubio want?” At the moment he seems to be trolling for someone from the WH to come on bended knee and buy his support, with some sort of program. What it is I don’t know.

  • Paul451

    That was my immediate impression.

    This…

    “As of this moment, I can’t assure anyone that I would support his nomination if it came to a vote.”

    …is political speak for “give me something”. It’s very carefully not “I can’t or won’t support [him/it]”, which, after you do a deal, requires you to “flipflop” (apparently the greatest sin in politics). This phrase is a very clear For Sale sign.