Press Release - What They Are Saying: Leaders Praise Tillerson for Secretary of State
Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush:
"It is a strong choice. Mr. Tillerson has broad experience and established relationships throughout the world. They will be of enormous value as the new administration develops its foreign policy strategy and approach."
Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State:
"Rex Tillerson is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience; a deep understanding of the global economy; and a belief in America's special role in the world.
"I know Rex as a successful businessman and a patriot. He will represent the interests and the values of the United States with resolve and commitment. And he will lead the exceptional men and women of the State Department with respect and dedication.
"I look forward to supporting Rex through the confirmation process and then welcoming him to the family of Secretaries of State."
Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense:
"I strongly endorse the President-elect's selection of Rex Tillerson to be the next Secretary of State. He would bring to the position vast knowledge, experience and success in dealing with dozens of governments and leaders in every corner of the world. He is a person of great integrity whose only goal in office would be to protect and advance the interests of the United States. I know this Eagle Scout will be a global champion of the best values of our country."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney:
"The selection of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State is an inspired choice. I've known Rex for many years both in his role as the Chairman and CEO of Exxon and as a personal friend. He has the vast experience, ability, and judgment to deal with the very dangerous world we find confronting us. His extensive knowledge of the global situation will be an asset in representing our nation. As the Chairman and CEO of Exxon, he has operated in nations all over the globe, and managed one of our largest corporations. I'm confident that he will do a superb job promoting our national interests in dealing with the complex and difficult choices that are on the agenda for the next administration."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
"Rex Tillerson's decades of experience have been widely recognized for forward-looking strategic planning, managing international partnerships and risk, and focused leadership around the world.
"As resident-elect Trump's choice for nomination for Secretary of State, he will bring this critical skills, knowledge and capabilities into an important role after eight years of the Obama administration's uncertain leadership.
"We need a full review of our national security policy, and I know Rex will face each problem head on with American interests and security as his top priority. I look forward to supporting his nomination."
Robert Charles, former Assistant Secretary of State:
"Another fascinating, deep, insightful choice – Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. What should every American know about this selection? A few things they may not have heard yet. Exxon's Chairman and CEO, Rex Tillerson is another novel choice, as edgy in diplomacy as he is proven in business. … What is the take-away from this savvy appointment? A new professionalism is in the air – and it's about time. Whatever friction he may encounter in the wind tunnel of change, he is likely to do well, and bring a perspective not often seen in the Capitol." Fox News
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ):
"The fact that Condi Rice, James Baker and Bob Gates are recommending Tillerson carries considerable weight. I look forward to the hearings."
Jeff Immelt, CEO General Electric:
"I applaud the President-Elect for his choice of Rex Tillerson for the role of Secretary of State. I have worked closely with Rex on significant projects all over the world. As the leader of Exxon Mobil, a truly global American company, Rex has an exceptional understanding of our country's essential and strategic role in the world. More importantly, he has a contemporary, ground-level view of our most important relationships. He is highly respected, well-travelled, a great negotiator and smart."
Suzanne Maloney, Brookings Institution:
"In today's competitive and interconnected world, leading a major multinational corporation requires many of the same skills as diplomacy: immersion in global politics and culture, keen capacity for assessing threats and opportunities, competence in managing bureaucracies as well as unforeseen crises.
"Great diplomats have come from many walks of life. Although the Foreign Service may be the primary incubator, many brilliant statesmen began their careers elsewhere. James Baker, George H.W. Bush 's secretary of state, was a lawyer. My current boss, Strobe Talbott, was a journalist before serving as deputy secretary of state during the Clinton administration. If nominated and confirmed, Mr. Tillerson could turn out to be another example."
Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (R-TN):
"I very much appreciated President-elect Trump calling me last night to let me know that he would be nominating Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.
"Mr. Tillerson is a very impressive individual and has an extraordinary working knowledge of the world. I congratulate him on his nomination and look forward to meeting with him and chairing his confirmation hearing."
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI):
"Tillerson nom adds another world-class player to impressive team. I look forward to meeting, discussing enormous global challenges we face."
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):
"Rex Tillerson's successful tenure leading a large multinational corporation reflects a keen ability to navigate complex geopolitical issues across the globe. His experience will be critical as the next Secretary of State will face a broad array of diplomatic challenges that will define the security and success of our nation for generations. A lifelong Texan, I've long valued Rex's insight and look forward to supporting his nomination."
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI):
"Congratulations to Rex Tillerson, a proven leader and person of enormous accomplishment."
"Getting Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State is a great achievement by President elect Trump. He will help make America great again."
Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation President:
"For too long, the United States has acted from a position of weakness on the world stage, and Mr. Tillerson must work to reverse this dangerous decline. The Trump administration has the opportunity to reinvigorate American leadership abroad by projecting the strength and stability that have been the bedrock of our diplomacy for more than two centuries. Mr. Tillerson must defend American interests, stand resolute in the face of challenges from adversarial powers such as Russia, Iran and China, and reassure our allies that the United States will continue to stand with them in an increasingly dangerous and complex world."
Donald J. Trump, Press Release - What They Are Saying: Leaders Praise Tillerson for Secretary of State Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/320009