Politics

Conservatives Rally to Defend Trump Picks from Liberal Smears

Campaigns launched to defend Pruitt and Sessions from progressive mudslinging

Conservative organizations are rallying to defend President-Elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointees from signs of a mounting smear campaign from liberals and their allies in the media.

America Rising Squared (AR2) launched the website ConfirmPruitt.com Wednesday to support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Just a week earlier, the Judicial Crisis Network launched a campaign called ConfirmSessions.com to support Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation to the position of attorney general.

“Senate Democrats now face a choice between the extreme environmentalist Left and commonsense, thoughtful leadership at the EPA.”

Both designated appointees have received an inordinate share of fire from left-aligned organizations and figures in the media.

“Senate Democrats now face a choice between the extreme environmentalist Left and commonsense, thoughtful leadership at the EPA,” Brian Rogers, executive director of AR2, said of Pruitt in a press release Wednesday. “America Rising and our conservative allies are proud to stand with Attorney General Pruitt and look forward to working to see him confirmed.”

Pruitt has been targeted by the Sierra Club, a progressive environmental organization that has spent tens of millions of dollars on a campaign to eliminate coal as an energy source in the United States — costing America thousands of jobs and hiking home energy prices in some areas.

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“Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires,” the Sierra Club said in a statement. “Nothing less than our children’s health is at stake. Scott Pruitt, whose own bio describes him as ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda’ cannot be trusted to head the EPA, an agency charged with protecting all Americans from threats to their water, air, and health.”

Pruitt’s backers support his vision “to protect the quality of our environment while ensuring that our economy isn’t stifled by regulatory overreach,” as Rogers said.

Despite liberal activists’ vehement caterwauling, politicians from both sides of the aisle have awarded Pruitt praise for his “impressive resume,” as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) noted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed his confidence that Pruitt “will work to find reasonable solutions, rather than simply working to grow the reach and power of the federal bureaucracy.”

As for Sessions, the Alabama senator has been targeted with incendiary bombast for discredited, decades-old allegations of racism  — despite the fact that he has received support from African-American politicians across the political aisle.

“I have worked with Sen. Sessions on education policy and securing federal funding for our schools,” state Sen. Quinton Ross, the Democratic leader of the Alabama Senate, said in a press release in early December. “I know him personally and all of my encounters with him have been for the greater good of Alabama.”

But liberal activists have pressured Sessions’ Senate colleagues to oppose his appointment — even the ones who once praised Sessions openly.

Incoming Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who once admired Sessions for his “fairness” and the “very good example” he set, issued a statement in November saying, “Given some of [Sessions’] past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say.”

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Conservatives are acting quickly to combat the smear campaign against Sessions.

“Sen. Sessions is widely respected across party lines in the United States Senate, where he has served the American people for two decades,” the ConfirmSessions.com website reads. “He is a world-class legal mind and a tough but fair lawyer with invaluable experience as both the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama and Alabama’s Attorney General. Known for his deep respect for the Constitution and adherence to the rule of law, Sen. Sessions has worked tirelessly to defend the civil and legal rights of all Americans.”

But the liberals just can’t seem to stand the idea of a Trump administration upending President Obama’s legacy of government encroachment, permissiveness, and progressivism.

“[Pruitt] is a national leader in the fight against federal encroachment on state and individual rights, and has led Oklahoma’s legal challenges to Obama administration policies that have attempted to upend the constitutional balance of power between the federal government and the states,” the ConfirmPruitt.com website reads.

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