President Joe Biden’s choice to direct the White House Office of Management and Budget told senators during a confirmation hearing on Tuesday that she regrets launching attacks against some of them on Twitter.
Neera Tanden, the nominee, once wrote that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is “the worst,” that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is “a fraud” and that “vampires have more heart” than Sen. Ted Cruz. (R-Texas).
Tanden deleted more than 1,000 posts after the November 2020 election.
“Senator, I appreciate people’s concerns about my tweets and I’ve regretted them. And I deleted tweets because I’ve regretted my tone and I’ve deleted tweets over many months,” the president of the Center for American Progress said.
“But for those concerned about my rhetoric and my language, you know, I’m sorry. And I’m sorry for any hurt that they’ve caused.”
Tanden declined to say whether she deleted the posts because she thought being nominated by Biden for a position was possible. She said she was not advised by anybody on which ones to remove.
Pressed on how she decided which tweets to delete, Tanden added: “I just thought of some of my language and deleted my tweets. But I would also just say, again, that to the extent people are hurt by my language, I deeply apologize.”
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) later turned to some of Tanden’s public comments about religious Americans, including derogatory remarks about pro-life advocates.
“Some of the statements that you’ve made seem to drift out of the partisan issues. One statement that you made about people that have the personal religious convictions about contraception like Little Sisters of the Poor and others, called them ‘a successful political cudgel helping isolate extreme advocates from the mainstream.’ That one seems to have crossed a different line for me. So help me understand how the personal religious beliefs of Americans could be ‘a successful political cudgel?'” Lankford asked.
“I want to say that for anyone offended by my language, you know, I feel badly about that. I think in that regard, I was more speaking to people who politicize religion, not people who believe in religion. Political leaders who politicize religion, I’m a person of faith myself and deeply respect people of all faiths and faith traditions,” Tanden responded.
The director of the Office of Management and Budget helps produce an annual budget and works with Congress on legislative proposals dealing with spending.
Tanden, like all Biden nominees, must receive a simple majority to be confirmed. Democrats control the 50-50 Senate through Vice President Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote.