Beth Prichard Geer, one of President Joe Biden’s nominees, was just clearly caught off guard during her confirmation hearing.
The Washington Examiner reports that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) surprised Geer by confronting her about an apparent ad hominem attack that Geer launched on Ernst in 2015.
The incident took place following then-President Barrack Obama’s State of the Union address in 2015. At the time, Ernst, not uncommonly, released a statement in response to Obama’s address.
After this, Fox News posted a message on Twitter asking social media users what they thought of Ernst’s response to Obama’s address. Geer responded with one word: “hideous.” In the process, she tagged both Fox News and Ernst.
One can no longer view the Tweet because it appears that Geer has recently put her Twitter account on private.
This week, Geer appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for her confirmation hearing. Biden has nominated Geer to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) board of directors. If confirmed, Geer, along with the other members of the board, would oversee a large portion of the South’s electricity.
When it was Ernst’s time to question Geer, she began by quoting the nominee’s written statement, in which Geer wrote that she believes she ought to be nominated to the TVA’s board because of her ability to “build relationships and work together.”
Ernst asked Geer whether this is correct. After Geer said that it is, Ernst also asked the nominee whether she believes in “civility.” Geer, once again, said that she did.
It was at this point that Ernst confronted Geer about the 2015 tweet. Geer was caught by surprise.
At first, Geer asked Ernst to read the tweet to her since she claimed that she could not read it. After Ernst did so, Geer said:
Well, I apologize if I offended you, and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. And I do, in fact, believe that civility is key, and I’m sorry that I did not demonstrate that, in your opinion, with that tweet.
Ernst, though, wasn’t satisfied. She continued by asking Geer whether she has “a habit of calling women that disagree with [her] ‘hideous,’ or if it was simply an exception.” Ernst also asked Geer whether the “hideous” comment was about Ernst’s looks.
“For the clarification, obviously, I was not calling you personally hideous, and certainly not your appearance, and again I apologize if it came across that way – I mean no disrespect,” Geer said, to which Ernst replied, “Ma’am, I’ll cut you off right there. How else could this come across?”