Housing and Urban Development secretary nominee Marcia Fudge’s confirmation hearing kicked off with her having to address broad insults as well as an accusation of racism that she previously leveled at Republicans.
At the beginning of her questioning, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., reminded Fudge, who has been serving as a Democratic congresswoman from Ohio since 2008, of two particular charges she made against GOP members.
“In June of last year while discussing Republican policing reform efforts, you said, in part, that if Republicans ‘want to save face and let this country know that they care even a little bit about people of color, which I don’t believe they do, but if they want to try I want to listen.’ Do you really believe that Republicans don’t care even a little bit about people of color?” he asked.
Fudge opted to focus on the end of that quote, where she suggested a desire to listen to Republicans.
“I think the latter part of my statement is my true feeling. If they do, I do want to listen,” she replied. “I listen. I have always listened. I am one of the most bipartisan members in the House of Representatives, and I think that if you would check my record would reflect that.”
Toomey had also brought up Fudge’s remarks from September, in which she said Republicans who supported filling the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat — which Toomey took to mean all Republicans — had “no decency,” “no honor” and “no integrity” and were a “disgrace to this nation.”
When Toomey asked Fudge if she stands by those words, she did not give a direct answer.
“Let me first say, Senator, that I think there are more to those quotes,” she said. “But let me just suggest that I have always been able to work across the aisle. I have a reputation that shows my bipartisanship. Yes, I do listen to my constituents and sometimes I am a little passionate about things. Is my tone pitch-perfect all the time? It is not. But I do know this: that I have the ability and the capacity to work with Republicans, and I intend to do just that. And that is my commitment to you.”
A video of those remarks that was posted to Fudge’s Facebook page showed that there were more to those quotes. In addition to what Toomey referenced, she also said the Republicans only wanted to “fight for themselves” and “take away our health care” and did not “want to help people who are in trouble” and did not “care about people who are unemployed.”
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