Three well-known Tennessee conservatives on Tuesday found fault with Republican Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery for supporting Xavier Becerra, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Health and Human Services secretary.
Becerra, a Democrat, serves as California’s attorney general.
FOX News published an article Friday that described Becerra as a controversial nominee who lacks medical experience and supports abortion access.
Slatery spokeswoman Samantha Fisher said by email Tuesday that the FOX News account of Slatery’s words were accurate.
“It characterized their positive working relationship as fellow attorneys general and nothing more,” Fisher said.
Former Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain told The Tennessee Star in an email that Slatery has allowed “a personal relationship to supersede valid concerns about Becerra’s record on religious liberty and human life.”
“Slatery’s decision highlights the fact that it is more important than ever before for Tennessee to change the process for selecting its attorney general,” Swain wrote.
“Accountability is crucial if we are to have decisions reflecting the will of the people.”
Ben Cunningham of Tennessee Tax Revolt, meanwhile, said “Slatery’s endorsement of Becerra for HHS is tantamount to enthusiastic cheerleading for the far-left liberal agenda of the Biden administration.”
“Biden is taking us down the path to total government control of healthcare, and Becerra would happily lead us there,” Cunningham said in an email.
“Slatery may, in fact, have respect for Becerra’s skills as an attorney and bureaucrat but for Slatery to use his status and his office to promote Becerra for HHS is just plain wrong and a major betrayal of millions of conservative Tennesseans who are increasingly alarmed about the direction of the country under a Biden administration.”
According to the FOX News article, “Slatery and Becerra worked together on cases against opioid manufacturers.”
“On the map, California and Tennessee are two different colors. But when it comes to fighting for a remedy to the nationwide opioid crisis, the ‘D’ in front of General Becerra’s name and the ‘R’ in front of mine don’t seem to matter much,” FOX News quoted Slatery as saying.
“We have worked together among a group of attorneys general – with varied political positions – for the common good of the people we serve.”
Wilson County Republican Party Chair Brad Lytle told The Star Tuesday that Slatery “has more important things to do.”
“He identifies as a Republican, but it’s not his job to help abortion people get on at the [Department of] Health and Human Services,” Lytle said.
“I think that it’s uncalled for. I don’t understand it. It’s out of his lane.”
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